Viel Glück zum Muttertag, Anne Gabriel-Jürgens, Sturm and Drang, 2023, 17 x 23 cm, 304 pages, PB, ISBN: 9783906822464
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Zoe, in Greek, means “life”.

In this long-term photo project, it`s about the relationship between my stepdaughter and me, growing up, coming of age, - my own memories of it and the question; what is a "family"?

In 2009 I became the stepmother of a 8-year-old girl, Zoe. When we three moved in together, my life changed in an instance. Emotionally I was held responsible by her little by little, and I suddenly had set dinner times, helped her with homework, attended school festivities, fought over phone ban and was proud of her first shows with her band and her musical progress. Like it or not, I learned who or what was hip or tired, and what Justin Bieber was currently going through. I was allowed to witness the metamorphosis she underwent from child to pubescent young girl, to today, torn between her childlike appearance and her adult attitudes. Puberty and coming of age!

For this whole time, 10 years have passed, I have been accompanying Zoe and her father with my camera. I have been photographing the slow metamorphosis, everyday situations in our small family, as well as parties and holidays, vacations and funerals, which shaped our life. I have created a portrait of a girl who has been searching and finding her place in and paths through her unusual family configuration, her parents’ conflicts, extended family, friends and me. Zoe has grown to be a meaningful part of my life, her lively being, her self-interest, stubbornness, her fantasy, her yearning for love and attention, her strengths and weaknesses.

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