The Twins

Ava Williams

2016 - Ongoing

I hate answering the question “what’s it like to be a twin?” I can’t answer that question accurately. I have only ever been a twin, so I know what it feels like, I know that our relationship is different. I have been attached to Chloe for twenty-two years. All children, including twins, go through a stage in adolescence where they detach from their parents and form their own opinions and become their own beings. Twins, however, find that their twin becomes a third parent; as a result, they have to detach from one another, which they often do reluctantly. We didn’t do this until we moved to New York and spent a year apart. By going to different colleges we were no longer together all the time. The struggle resulted in something called twin yearning. This is when a twin detaches from their sibling but feels a lack of identity and latches onto someone else. It was the first time I had to figure out what it meant to just be Ava. To do this I didn’t tell people I was a twin. When I started to photograph Chloe I really began to dive deep into the true feelings of twinhood. I use photography to show our memory overlap, and the bond that formed before we were born. I realized I could use my camera to trick people. In this context, I am forcing people who have never met us to decipher who is who. It is this form of art, mimicking, the identity struggle, the truth about being a twin that keeps the project going. I want the audience to feel what we feel when we are together, to feel what it’s like to be hyper-analyzed, and how different life is when you know that your closest companion looks exactly like you.

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