Jamie Diamond: 365 days: 1938/2017
Photographer Jamie Diamond’s new body of work, 365 days: 1938/2017, is a poignant documentation of life almost 88 years apart, showing us that motherhood is a timeless event, no matter where we live in the world. After purchasing a 1938 photo album while visiting Germany, she was struck by a collection of images that chronicled the first year of motherhood. After having her own son, Jamie re-photographed the images, layering her life onto one before her, mirroring the daily joys of raising a child. This work is even more arresting in our own fragile and challenging period in history as Jamie realized the 1938 photographs were taken at the beginning of World War II, another period of uncertain times.
Jamie Diamond is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Diamond is a recipient of the Artist in Residence program at Mass Moca & Skidmore College (2016), the NYFA Fellowship Award in Photography (2014), Artist in Residence at The Bronx Museum (2014), Artist in Residence at the Mana Residencies program at Mana Contemporary (2014), LMCC Swing Space residency (2013), LMCC Work Space residency (2008-2009) and the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship Award (2008). Diamond’s work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Last Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Vanity Fair, Hyperallergic, The Huffington Post, Lenscratch, Dummy Magazine, Barron’s Magazine, Phaidon and PBS Online Series among others. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, some of which include Galerie Frank Pages (Geneva), AJL Art (Berlin), Mass MoCA (North Adams), The Bronx Museum (New York) and Catherine Edelman (Chicago). Diamond received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 and BA from the University of Wisconsin in 2005. Since 2009, Diamond has been lecturing in photography at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently the Undergraduate Photography Coordinator of U Penn’s Fine Art Department.
365 days: 1938/2017
In 2015, while visiting Berlin, I stumbled upon a discarded vernacular German family photo album. As I turned each page, I saw the life of a child unfold, 27 days old, 47 days old, 80 days old, ending at 365 days. I then looked at the date and it occurred to me that this was at the dawn of the Second World War.
This body of work is a collaboration between me and my son and two strangers, a mother and a child and explores the interplay between shared global history and maternal identity. I have carefully re-enacted each picture with my son since his birth, set within the same time frame outlined in the album, from 27 days old to a year. My recreations are over-layed with the original source material from 1938, collapsing space, time and memory into one photograph. The pixels merge with the grain, in the way I merge with this stranger, our developmental milestones and fears become one. By collapsing the historical photograph with my staged re-enactment I create a new narrative in which our shared identity at a time of uncertainty become united.
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