PROJECT ROOM: Jill D'Agnenica's, Bad Mother, a photographic project with text.
I’ve been a bad mother for 13 years, precisely the length of time my oldest daughter has been on this planet. I quickly recognized that I was no match for the whirlwind which was Isabella and simply gave up any pre-conceived notions I had about child rearing.
This series was conceived two years ago, the moment I laid eyes on the outfit and accessories my 4 year old had put on and ran for the camera instead of the parenting manual. Mini skirt, faux fur and red wig were made complete by the fake (thank goodness!) ciggy she expertly held to her lips. I snapped the pic, named it Lucky LuLu and posted it on Facebook in an album I named “Bad Mother.”
Rummaging through the pre-digital archives of my first daughter, I found, to my horror and delight, countless instances of bad mothering unwittingly captured for posterity. These too I added to the incriminating trove, documenting my shameful lack of good parenting skills, good influence and good judgment in the raising of two head-strong children.
Coupled with my delirious love of my children has been my intense desire to have a life of my own, separate and full beyond them. This has resulted in the consistent state of my halfignoring them and their doings while I attempt to do something else—make art, make money, play Scramble on Facebook. More often than not, this has led to my eventual discovery of much of what is presented here.
The resulting images catalogue my failings as a good mother while my children run around and do whatever they please with their time, space, and bodies. If they grow into happy, successful adults, I will in retrospect smugly justify my “parenting” style. If they turn into sociopaths, well, the court of public opinion will have all the evidence, presented right here, to “blame the mother.”