108 pages, English
Published by Stockmans Art Books
Edition of 400
Text: Oxiea Villamonte
Photos: Oxiea & Reina Villamonte
Next of Kin tells my story through three different generations of women. It’s not a linear one, neither a chronological one, it is an intertwining story where the past and the present try to connect with each other as well as disconnect.
My identity is deeply influenced by my mother and how she has raised me. When looking in a mirror I see my mother staring back at me. While embracing these similarities, there stills runs a fear through me of repeating similar choices. This path of finding my own identity has lead me to Chicago, the place where I was born. By using the archive of my mother when she was my age, I try to deceive the viewer into thinking we are one person. This feeling even gets reinforced in the similarity of the style and the people we choose to surround us with. In the meanwhile my grandmothers voice echoes throughout the book in the form of anecdotes where she answered trivial questions right before she died. My grandmother and mother shared also this almost identical relationship as I do with my mother.
Next to this search in finding similarities, I also try to find a way to distinguish myself. This distinction I find in my alternative self, that I call Zillah.
Dedicated to Virginia and Reina.