Christa Mayer – My Mother, My Sister, and I
Hartmann Books 2022
Texts by Ferenc Jádi, André Kirchner and Thomas Weski
»My Mother, My Sister, and I« is a family study in photographs that focuses on the photographer’s relationship with her mother, bordering on a systemic family constellation. In her first book, Christa Mayer combines photographs of her mother and sister, self-portraits, still lives, landscape photographs, and video portraits to create a narrative that reveals a microcosm visualising different aspects of attachment, relationship, and family. Mayer’s approach is unsparing yet full of affection. Her photography is direct in nature, and her empathy with her photographic subjects is balanced with Mayer’s analytical interest in them. This ambivalence runs through all the portrait series in the book. Proximity and distance, strangeness and familiarity, resistance and acceptance resonate throughout the work. This tension not only tells a story of complex family dynamics, but also symbolically addresses themes such as ageing, generational conflict, and family structures.