This exhibition presents the photo-based work of contemporary artist Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, whose recent body of work focuses on the family photograph. For Matthew, the family photograph is an object filled with emotional and psychological energy. It is also a productive site from which to explore the larger dynamics of national identity, collective memory, and social transformation. Matthew's work calls into questions the distance between the past and present, and the separation of fact from fabricated history. What is a family photo? How do they work to shape our memories? What can they really tell us about history? Do our family photographs have meaning for anyone else but ourselves? Matthew's work is an example of what family photos can do and the powerful grip they have on our imagination, memory, and indeed sense of self.
Born in England, raised in India, and now based in the United States, Matthew's dynamic and thought-provoking work pulls from her experience of living between three cultures. Generations brings together six bodies of work from 1996-2015 consisting of still and moving imagery. By playing with technique, Matthew's work is also an exploration of the medium of photography. The title of the exhibit refers to both the multiple generations within a family and the multiple generations of a photographic print.
Organized by and co-presented with the Royal Ontario Museum