About the Photographer
Slovenian, b. 1971
In a concise, poignant set of untitled black and white photographs compiled in 2003, Aleksandra Vajd explores the line between life and death and our efforts to prepare for, or come to terms with, the passing on of loved ones. Of the seven photographs Vajd presents together, six were selected from her personal archive and show her father sleeping. She took the seventh photograph, which strongly resembles the others, shortly after his death.
“It all started with a photo I made in the morgue when my father died," Vajd writes. "Looking at the negatives of some past family events I found many photos of my father lying in bed, resting with his eyes closed…He looked dead because the pose was very static––maybe this is wrong to say, for lying is a static position, but there are different ways a person can lie in bed…The day before he died he was lying like this on his sofa and I asked myself: What if he is dead now? It was as if I were testing myself and getting ready for the moment.” The series has deeply personal undertones, suggesting the intimacy of father and daughter and touching on the subject of family relationships, but it also raises questions about our attitudes towards mortality in general.
Born in Maribor, Slovenia in 1971, Aleksandra Vajd received both a BA and MFA in photography from FAMU, Prague, where she has gone on to pursue a Ph.D. in photographic theory. From 2004 to 2006 Vajd studied photography at the State Univeristy of New York, New Paltz as a Fulbright Scholar.