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Lindley Warren Mickunas and the conflicting feelings of closeness and distance with family

Lindley Warren Mickunas Maternal Sheet C41magazine Photography 2

Lindley Warren Mickunas (she/her/hers) is a photographer and the founder of The Reservoira collective editorial project on the politics of image-making. Warren Mickunas is a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and an MFA Photography candidate at Columbia College Chicago. Most recently, she was named a 2020 Aperture Portfolio Prize Runner-Up, published in FotoFilmic’s JRNL 2 edited by STANLEY/BARKER, and exhibited by Der Greif at Berlin Photo Week.

About ‘Maternal Sheet‘ – words by Lindley Warren Mickunas:

I have never left. Your bodies are before me
at all times, in the dark I see
the stars of your teeth in their fixed patterns
wheeling over my bed
. . .
You think I left—I was the child
who got away, thousands of miles,
but not a day goes past that I am not
turning someone into you.

– Sharon Olds, “Possessed (for my parents)”

Within the ongoing series Maternal Sheet, I utilize various modes of image-making to contextualize notions of parent-child relationships and the conceptual weight of carrying the past. My approach ranges from large-format photographs of reenactments sourced from my familial history performed by non-relatives to present day digital documentations of my family and their domestic spaces, allowing the fabricated and the real to blend together much like they do in memory. These images explore heritage, violence and co-dependency, especially pertaining to the maternal bond. My personal narrative acts as a springboard to visually investigate universal themes surrounding the lingering effects of trauma and grapple with the profound longing for familial closeness and the necessity for separation.

Time to read
1 min
Words by
Staff
Published on
1 April 2021
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