Mom by Charlie Engman
If motherhood is a state of waiting, then the arrival of time and age is disconcerting, as the person waking from a twenty-year coma might feel looking in a mirror
The book’s title reveals the identity of its protagonist: Kathleen McCain Engman has been posing for her son Charlie since 2009.
And yet MOM shows us a face we never really get to know: while we soon become acquainted with her freckled complexion and intense gaze, her position in the images becomes increasingly unclear.
Engman first began shooting his mother because she was available, ever-willing to meet the demands of one of her children. But what began as a casual, organic process evolved into an intense collaboration.
The result is neither a family album nor a filial tribute but a much deeper and far more complex interaction: one that raises questions about the limits of familiarity, the rules and boundaries of roles and representation, vulnerability and control, and what it means to look and to be seen.