Behind the Cover: Issue 15


We sat down with Meg De Young, the artist behind the cover photo for Der Greif Issue 15, to get some insight into her photographic practice. Meg De Young is a visual artist, living and working in Naarm, Australia. Her current research and practice considers how social structures influence the experience of women and how collaboration and performance can bring new meaning to the narratives that surround this.Issue 15 is due to be released at Paris Photo on the 10th of November. We will be joined by some of the 50 guest editing artists from the issue as well as some of the artists whose work they selected for the issue from the over 6,000 images we received in our open call. You can RSVP for our launch party at L’INAPERÇU 65 Rue Beaubourg, 75003, Paris, Francehere.

Meg writes about her series, The Conversations We Have; “ This series is as a practice-led research project that explores the mother-daughter relationship through a feminist perspective. Historically, this relationship has been constructed and narrated through patriarchy. Using collaborative theatre as a way to destabilise this, my mother and I perform in a domestic space to critique narratives related to mother-daughter intimacy, mother-blame, matrophobia (the fear of turning into one’s own mother) and motherhood as a social construct. In doing so, we reclaim our relationship in its own image. Importantly, this research contributes to an under-explored field in photography, and art more broadly. While the social construction of motherhood has been examined in contemporary art, the mother-daughter relationship hasn’t been imaged to the same extent. Or, when it is represented, it does not reflect the relationship that my mother and I have. I am seeking to expose the previously mentioned narratives for what they are – an ideology. The Conversations We Have conveys the process of beginning a dialogue with my mother and writing a narrative that reflects our lived experience.”

1. Hi Meg! Congratulations on having your image selected for our Issue 15 cover. Can you tell us what went through your mind when you found out? Excited! It’s fantastic news. A lot of work has gone into this project so it’s gratifying for it to be recognised. 2. I’m curious how you got into photography and what the focus of your practice is? When I was younger I always carried a point and shoot around, it was a way for me to hold on to memories. Snapshot photography has been an important part of my practice, its playfulness is what I’ve carried over into my most recent project but in a more constructed way. The focus of my practice now is untangling social structures and engaging with research to guide my practice.

3. The theme of this issue is “Collectivity”, how does this word resonate with you in your artistic and personal life? More specifically, collectivity resonates with my recent project ‘The Conversations We Have’. I hope other women who have had similar experiences can relate to the work. I’ve already had women reach out and tell me about their relationships with their mothers, which has been fulfilling. By telling these stories through photography we can begin to understand that these experiences are not isolated.

4. The image that was selected for the cover shows you with your mother. How have you staged this image to subvert the traditional representations of the mother-daughter relationship?Traditionally the mother-daughter relationship is represented in a particular way through the media. A quick google search and you will see imagery of mothers and daughters hugging in a warm embrace with no real layers of complexity to it. However, these relationships are extremely complex and there is no one size fits all. This image is describing our experience of the relationship, which can at times be awkward and uncomfortable. 5. Thank you so much for generously sharing with us! Where are you planning to take your artistic practice in the future? At this point I’m deciding on further study options… watch this space!