A home truth can be simply understood as a fact that is somehow discomforting to acknowledge or may cause embarrassment. The work in this show may do all of those things. The title is there to be taken literally, or ironically. The concept of truths in parenting and photography are there to be questioned.
The work in Home Truths: Photography, Motherhood and Identity aims to challenge long held stereotypes and sentimental views of motherhood. Set against a backdrop of the seemingly insatiable appetite for pictures of celebrity mums, streams of Instagram bumps and babies and a history of the Madonna motif in art history, the work hereaddresses changing conditions of power, gender, domesticity, the maternal body and familial relations. It is a critical space for the representation of mothers to exist aside from more reductive cultural assumptions of mothering.
As a theme often overlooked in contemporary art making, the work here is highly subjective, with a sense of seriousness and intense reflection. Much of the work also reflects contemporaneous impulses in photography to photograph everything, however seemingly inappropriate. Home Truths: Photography, Motherhood and Identity questions both the identity of the mother figure, but also the identity of photography at a time when the expectations and demands of both are in flux, and both subject and medium grapple for new meaning.
From 11 Oct 2013 – 5 Jan 2014 – the exhibiting artists are Janine Antoni, Elina Brotherus, Elinor Carucci, Ana Casas Broda, Fred Hüning, Leigh Ledare, Katie Murray and Hanna Putz.
A companion exhibition Home Truths: Photography, Motherhood and Loss is showing at the Foundling Museum with works by Ann Fessler, Tierney Gearon, Miyako Ishiuchi and Annu Palakunnathu Matthew.