Adrienne Defendi: Relinquish
I have admired Adrienne Defendi’s work for a number of years and was very happy to meet her and see her work in person at Photolucida. Having a background in the toy camera world, I know the artistry it takes to transcend a plastic lens and limited range of options. But Adrienne’s work follows in the footsteps of the ground breaking work by Nancy Rexroth, where the tool to create the work is secondary to the imagery. These beautifully seen and captured photographs, rich in metaphor and story telling, take us through the final chapter of her parent’s lives. Her project, Relinquish, is a quiet and poetic documentation of love, loss, memory, and last days.
Adrienne Defendi has been photographing for over thirty years, and lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her life-long interests in memory and myth, narrative and nostalgia, inform and contextualize her photographic expression. In her varied series, she explores family narratives and the fragility of life.
Adrienne has been a member of the Bay Area Photographers Collective for over fifteen years, and has exhibited work nationally and internationally, in galleries and online exhibits, and in numerous publications. A 2015 Critical Mass finalist, her work was recently featured in LensWork and Seeing in SIXES, “Your Daily Photograph” and “Don’t Take Pictures.” This summer, an image from the series Relinquish will be on view in the Texas Photographic Society’s International Competition, juried by Alison Nordström, at the Stark Galleries, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Two new works are on view in the exhibition Plastic Fantastic Show VIII, juried by Susan Burnstine, at LightBox Photographic Gallery, Astoria, Oregon.
These photographs document the home where my parents have resided for over forty years and explore their lives within. For the last seven years, I have returned to my childhood home for intense but brief periods of time when I photographed where the light gathers and what I wish to remember years from now.
Through this project I have come to understand how my parents and I, gracefully and lovingly, are letting go of each other — relinquishing each other to the natural cycle of life. Accepting this allows me to revere and record their now quiet and meditative lives.
To relinquish them is to remember them anew.
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