Sissel Thastum | I am here when you are here

By 23 febbraio 2017 Webzine No Comments

I am here when you are here

Throughout the making of I am here when you are here, returning to my home time after time to photograph my mother, stands as an act with direct reference to what the photographs hold: The consequence of time passing in the absence of one another, my mother and my home, and the photographic confrontation of each return.

The act of photographing my mother and my home has become ‘nostologic’. Nostology stems from gerontology, which comes from the Greek word notos; to return home. It has a reference to aging and a state of second childhood.


It is through existing memories and feelings towards my home and my mother, implicit as well as explicit, that I have created this work. They have enabled recognition, clarification and emotional response, which has made it possible to continue the project, the search and the identification. My mother has let me do this. She has let draw on our relationship, she lets me show her and photograph her, so I can search for identity through her, and through our relationship.

The photographs also contain an uncanny feeling, which holds the known and comfortable on the one hand, and the hidden and concealed on the other. It is this feeling of attraction and estrangement towards the known and the unknown, that is key to the development of identity. In this sense the work is both a return to the ‘chora’; the home, and a departure towards autonomy.


– Sissel Thastum