Lie and Smile

Artist Feature of Rana Young

My earliest memories are without my mother; she chose to physically abandon me for 16 years. Emotionally, for much longer. Our fleeting and estranged relationship ceased when she passed in late 2017. My curiosity, rage, grief, and empathy collide and swell alongside her archive I’ve amassed. I uncover and confront perceptions and symptoms of familial truths and hereditary traumata while gazing at an enigmatic woman who uncannily shares my likeness. A once shameful narrative became my exit from cyclical silence. Through a directorial lens, I employ autobiographical context, performance, and versatility to pit photographic efficacy against the medium’s own deceptive nature. I record the tangible, construct prosthetic memories, and render a diaristic elegy. I lie and tell truths; I distill what to reveal or protect and with whom. I keep mining. Probing. I want to forgive my mother; I want to heal. Such concerns sustain my negotiation with her ghost.

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