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Exhibitions
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Current

29 Apr 10 - 30 May 10



My Mother and I

Isabelle Graeff

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MY MOTHER & I is a continually developing photographic work that has been underway for nearly a decade. Graeff tenderly interrogates her own identity through her tight maternal relationship, and exposes an intensely private, feminine world, but one that emerges also as universal.

Trolley Gallery at
Spandauer Str. 2
10178 Berlin
Until May 30th

With the continual development of neuroscience questions of identity formation can be asked again. Neuro-research investigates how far our lives are genetically determined and if we are really free in our actions. It asks whether we inherit not only facial expression, gesture and voice from our parents, but also patterns of behaviour. Is there really such a thing as free will, or do our genes stipulate our individual ‘human condition’?

"From childhood my mother and I have had an extraordinarily intense relationship. The project began with a compulsion to photograph my mother in every emotional state that I found her in or sparked in her. I wanted to document each facial expression and mood. Then on one occasion a picture of my mother was inadvertently placed next to one of me on the table. I was amazed. The two pictures seemed to show the same person with nothing but twenty-seven years between them. Where does this similarity come from that can be found not only in bone structure and personality but also in gesture and facial expression. Can I escape it? How much of myself is in me and how much of my mother? And, as Hannah Arendt suggested, could it not also be the other way around? Do I, through my presence and behaviour, change my mother?"

For Arendt, and also for Sartre, the human conditon is the state of being hurled into a world where nothing can remain the same. Total freedom rules, along with a total responsibility and a profound solitariness: to live in the world necessitates a division between that which we are and that which we will become. Isabelle Graeff's photos are a search for similarities and traces of herself and her individualism - and this microperspective develops into something strangely universal.

Trolley Gallery at
Spandauer Str. 2
10178 Berlin
Until May 30th