Things My Mother Would Have Told Me If Only She’d Known How
Zadie neg. b lying down by Leah Sobsey
Photographer/artist Leah Sobsey inherited her late grandfather’s negatives at about the time her mother, writer/poet Linda Belans, began writing about family. Questions about interpretation became a central theme – what was Herb Belans, a self-taught photographer, seeing optically and aspirationally through his waist-level camera in the 1940s and ‘50s? What was Leah’s mother recalling through the haze of time and the clarity of wisdom? And what was Leah seeing from her vantage point as she stripped the images of the entire context so that the figures float and hover in an infinite and eternal space. There, any story is possible. Together, three generations integrate images and text threaded across space and time: “Zaidy” through his Rolliflex camera, his granddaughter Leah through merging digital technology with 19th century photographic processes, and his daughter Linda with words that serve as a generational bridge between them.
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