Press Release | Amsterdam, February 2022
From February 2022, Foam will present the exhibition Double Portrait by Cemre Yeşil at MAQAM, its new location in Amsterdam West. The project examines the relationship between mother and child through different lenses. It deals with topics such as identity, loss, and memory. The work questions the traditions of portraiture and explores the psychological aspects of photography.
In the nineteenth century, when photographing a young child, it was common that the mother or caretaker would be hidden by a cloth while the photograph was being taken. This genre is called hidden mother photography. These ‘double portraits’ are the starting point of Yeşil’s work, they constitute a hidden embrace. Contemplating the ‘hidden embrace’ as a symbolic gesture for the comforting maternal presence, the artist created her own versions of double portraits. In the process, the portraits of her own mother became mirrors of herself. Looking at portraits of her mother she describes feeling herself through the photograph, what she calls ‘the photographic skin’. For Yeşil, photography becomes a way of making sense of her own identity by bringing together different emotions and life events: losing her grandmother, a grieving mother, losing love, finding love, desire, hormones, pregnancy, change, birth and motherhood.
With her intimate, raw work, Yeşil wants to take a candid look at motherhood and break through its clichés. Double Portrait shows the complex relationship between mother and child and the unfolding development of motherhood itself. It is also a visual response to the unimaginable death of any individual’s mother. Double Portrait invites the viewer to remember what it means to be held and to experience what it means to hold someone else, regardless of cultural norms related to gender. The work speaks of something universally understood emotionally, but a feeling that is almost impossible to articulate.
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Foam is supported by the VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and the Gemeente Amsterdam.
In 2022 Foam receives additional support from the Mondriaan Fund.
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