always somebody’s daughter: reenactment of “Brett Kavanaugh Hearing, 2018” 2019

always somebody’s daughter: reenactment of “Ivanka with Donald at a Beach Boys concert in Palm Beach, 1996” 

Trump’s election makes me feel deep visceral agony for the sake of all women. For the women in his family, the women in families of those he appoints, the women he hires, for all of the women in our country, for me and for my daughters.

In these images, I am the mother of the subjects. I ask them to reenact the images while placing a printed "frontground" image of a picture found on the internet. The pictures include Trump (or his appointees) and the intimate women in his life (wives and daughters). I beg my daughters to reenact the roles these women have played that are depicted in these media images. They protest and try to bargain with me (like they always do). My daughters do not have agency of an adult. But, they fight for it. 

In trumps world, women lose agency. This is a complicated dialogue. My daughters do not want to be “sad” to enact the image. Yet I am asking them to pretend to feel sad to perform these women’s role in the picture. I believe that in many ways these women and women in the trump era do not have agency to determine the roles they play in daily life. While not a new phenomenon, trump brings it to prominence. Am I performing the role that trump does in the relationship with women? Part of my daughters wants to participate in the aesthetic labor of posing, adorning a wig, trying to enact the role of an adult woman. But they feel conflicted as so many women do while participating in this aesthetic labor. The subject-object relationship between photographer (me) and subject (my daughters) implicates me as mother and trump as leader.
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