|Youmna 11, Beirut Lebanon from L'Enfant-Femme -- Rania Matar|
|Ayah 9, Beirut Lebanon, Molly, Brookline MA, and Juliette 10, Arlington MA from L'Enfant-Femme -- Rania Matar|
Life is full of transitions, but perhaps at no other time in a person's life is the rapid mental progression so linked to their changing physicality. The anger and pleasure, confusion and discomfort, awkwardness and maturity of this age are simultaneously visible. Matar approaches her subjects with one instruction — don’t smile. From there, the girl is left to pose and arrange herself as she will, leaving her to present herself to the camera in a way of her choosing. This simple direction yields impressive results and we witness these girls struggle to present themselves, attempting to bridge the gap between childhood and the start of sexual maturity. It is easy to see both the past and future in these images — the girls become remarkably readable in poses that are intentional but nevertheless telling -- both the child they are growing out of and the coming adult are visible, coexisting in the frame.
|Ellice, Jamaica Plain, MA 2010 from A Girl and Her Room-- Rania Matar|
photo-eye is also releasing a new edit of Matar’s A Girl and Her Room portfolio, which is soon to be published in a book from Umbrage Editions. In this series, Matar established herself as a keen and sympathetic observer of young women, producing images that depict girls at an age of transition into adulthood in the one space they control themselves. I remember the importance of my bedroom at that age — and even my dorm room in college. There were totems of my self expression that made it into every space, and these rooms were as much a free expression of my personhood — if not at times more so — than my style and demeanor. They are a way to begin the exploration of self-expression, a way to fall into a personal identity of adulthood. -- Sarah Bradley
See Rania Matar's L'Enfant-Femme and A Girl and Her Room portfolios here