Milagros asleep on Christmas Eve
Decorating the tree
The Card Game
In the kitchen
In May 2009, my grandfather passed away unexpectedly. My immediate family traveled from across the United States to join my mother and her family in Argentina. We found ourselves getting off the plane and walking into a funeral.
During the following hours and weeks after the funeral, I wandered around the house, wondering how it had ever seemed so alive. Each day objects were slowly removed, and I spent that time trying to photograph as much as possible with a constant feeling of the desperation of loss for both the place as well as the relationships that seemed to be changing.
This body of work, Si Dios Quiere, explores issues of intimacy and distance within my mother’s family in Argentina. The house where she grew up and the people who are part of that life serve as characters. The environment becomes a set for the photographic staging of the images. It reveals how a place can influence and form us. The word “family” connects us, but the extent of our connection depends on several factors. Families can be separated by physical distance, but often it is more complicated and the relationships themselves form walls and separations. Si Dios Quiere, which means If God Wants, attests to the fact that relationships are inherently difficult. Closer proximity to the people we love can be just as complex as distance. Within the family structure, specific roles are developed over time. We idealize these roles and the people who fill them, as well as the places that hold us.
The images span several years. Included are images from the last Christmas before my grandfather died, alongside the images from after the funeral and the following trips back where an uncertain landscape evolves. There is an intensity of absence and change, and how that emotion fades into the everyday and a new order is established.