Don't look at me

It's a project about my mother, our relationship, and what it means to grow up with a person with a disability. I look at myself through her eyes, one of which she symbolically gave me – because I'm a photographer, and she has a prosthetic eye.

It’s a story about my mother, our relationship, and eventually about me because I often look at myself and the world through her perspective. She symbolically gave me one of her eyes — because I’m a photographer, and she has a prosthetic eye. But still, she’s the one who sees the world like a camera because her vision is monocular.

When I photograph her, I see a stranger through my lens. Do I know her as well as I used to think? I try to look into her past to explain the present. I turn to the objects from my childhood to find some clues. I linger on the details. I try to deconstruct her, dive deeper into her stories, and reassemble what I learned about her. Yet, she always slips away from me, consistently turning her back to the camera.

I try to find words about my experience of growing up with a mother with a disability. While I find her beautiful, she despises her reflection. She considers herself broken, and I am mesmerized by her glass eye. She hates being stared at and photographed, while my art practice is built on capturing the human body and making self-portraits. Could it be so because I was always curious about what happened to her? 

It is a story of separation from your parents and the ability to see them as individuals. It's about seeing yourself as an individual too who may also have children one day. But before we have children of our own, we must get to know our parents. Will I be able to be a mother? What will I pass on to my child? What sacrifices will I have to make? What secrets will I keep from them? 

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