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Jennifer Fagan

Nominated by Columbia College

Working in photography, video, and performance, I explore the weight of patriarchy. I am interested in the performative nature of gender but more specifically, the constructions of fatherhood and masculinity. Patriarch and Memories of my Father, my two most recent bodies of work, investigate the duality of memories and photographs. Probing how a photograph encapsulates memories and how memories reside in photographs. I am interested in how a memory of a photograph can hold more charge than the actual photograph and how they are also able to construct lies. How familial and personal narratives can be constructed from images of people or places that might have never existed in one’s actual reality; for instance, a father.

A fascination of both family history and the way families use photography has inspired this work. By examining the absence of my father and my mother’s lack of relationship with her father, I aim to uncover patterns of this multigenerational breaking of traditional familial structures. American culture is rich with patriarchal tropes and models ready for consumption. I dissect these offerings of masculinity in order to better understand the constraints of our patriarchal society and carve out my own space within it.

Image: The Hug, 2015

Resident year: 
2016
Cohort Group: 
Artist Resident