then he forgot my name
then he forgot my name, a self-portrait photography series, examining decay and mortality while reflecting the current American political tumult and the collective awakening of female power.
Several years ago my father was diagnosed with dementia, prompting frequent visits to my family home located in the American Rust Belt. Using a historic building my brother owns in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, as a back-drop, the decay perfectly mirrors my internal struggle with mortality.
What began as a project about my declining father evolves into what it means to be a woman, with a look back at our history and tying it to the issues of today, the #metoo movement. The title then he forgot my name takes on different interpretations—beginning with the denial echoing from some public perpetrators ringing harshly and loudly: “I don’t even remember her!” and past youthful fears of boys forgetting my name when the power dynamic shifted.
Approaching the work from the personal, I find paths to a wider relevance through archetype, symbol and metaphor. then he forgot my name evokes the inner thoughts of women—characters created through researching past tenants, inspired by found objects on set as well as personal memories.
The use of the color pallet red, white and blue in conjunction with the deteriorating state of the rooms implies and explores the vulnerability of democracy and the tenuous nature of power, while flashes of yellow represent the light of new beginnings and the potential for rebirth. Despite it all—amid the ruin—the strength of the woman emerges.