Last Wednesday, my class took a fields trip to the Transformer Station in Ohio City. There was an exhibit on girls and coming of age by Lebanese-American photographer Rania Matar. In her photographs she displays girls in there most insecure, uncomfortable time and age in their lives… puberty. Here are two pictures that kind of stood out to me above the rest.
In this first picture we have 2 pictures of the same person, only they are taken 4 years apart. Christina was only 10 when the picture on the right was taken. And she was 14 when the left one was taken. This is a series that Matar did where she photographed girls just before they were going to start going through puberty. Then she revisited these same girls and shot them again. In a lot of them she tried to take the picture in the same spot as the first. But in this one she went with a different, though similar, background for the pictures. That is what I liked about this particular one from the series. It makes you feel like there were changes in Christina’s life other than the obvious physical changes that happens during those years.
The second picture I chose is from a series Matar did involving girls in their bedrooms. These girls mostly were strangers to Matar and not really actual models. And the rooms aren’t sets. The rooms actually belong to these girls and that alone can be a difficult thing, allowing a stranger to take pictures of you in your room for the world to see. This one in particular stood out to me. The girl has a lot of pictures of women covering every inch of wall space. When discussing this picture with my classmates, it was easy for them to recognize this as the girl being gay. But I didn’t see that when I saw this picture. I saw a girl with body issues, she sees the way women figures are in the media and the bodies that models have and she wants that… she thinks that she wants that. Weather I am right or my classmates are right, we cant truly be certain, but what is clear is that Matar saw something here to and decided this was the corner she wanted to take the picture for a very good reason.