Member Profile: Jessica Ucul

Artist’s Statement
My work is a celebration and ongoing examination of familial identity through photography. Specifically, my interest lies in the gendered ritual of snapshot photography and how it’s used to construct domestic mythology. Snapshot photography is a medium in which peop...
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My work is a celebration and ongoing examination of familial identity through photography. Specifically, my interest lies in the gendered ritual of snapshot photography and how it’s used to construct domestic mythology. Snapshot photography is a medium in which people can explore and confirm their identity – their sense of selfhood; it validates cultural rites of passage and ceremony. It presents individuals as they wish to be seen. I love exploiting how photography sustains this sensibility. I tease out cultural and photographic codes in my conceptual portraits, diaristic narratives, and curated archives in the form of print series, book, and installation. Themes throughout my work include: family and the maternal, the negotiation between fantasy and memory, and kitsch as a cultural sensibility of loss. I mostly photograph my family, their things, their environment, and myself. My photographs are a blend of documentary and staged scenes. In addition to my photographs, I maintain a varied library of vernacular photographs taken from estranged family members on Facebook, scanned family snapshots, personal documents, and culturally significant images. The completion of a work is achieved after extensive editing of this material. From 2011-2015 I worked in Manhattan as a housekeeper and nanny to bank executives. This time greatly challenged my notions of home, family and self, inspiring "Good Heavens" (2012), a series motivated by personal homesickness turned garish fantasy and "Holy Mackerel Sapphire Mommy" (2014), an abstracted narrative reminiscent of matriarchal scrapbooking about maternal love and the inherited self-sacrifice of my feminine lineage.
SPECIALTIES: Fine Art


Accomplishments
  • Gallery Show
  • Award
  • Book
  • Lecture
  • Other

  • AWARD
    WHEN: 8/21/15
    Robert D. Beckmann, Jr. Emerging Artist Fellowship, Arts Council of Indianapolis
  • GALLERY SHOW
    WHEN: 10/3/15 - 1/3/16
    ADDRESS: Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN, 46802