Photographing my grandmother for the last ten years of her life, I often considered her my collaborator. Since her death, creating alongside her still feels like a necessary part of my process. Taking influence from my interest in the Victorian traditions of post-mortem photography and the photographic stand-in, and the contemporary Flat Daddy (photographic cut-outs of deployed soldiers inserted into the family while the soldier is away at war), I created “Flat Granny” as a stand-in for my grandmother.
Flat Granny is a life-sized cardboard cut-out of my grandmother made from the photographs I took of her while she was alive. Just as Flat Daddies are used to help children cope with the absence of their loved one, I created Flat Granny in an attempt to extend my relationship with my grandmother beyond death. Flat Granny began as a simple cut-out. However, in an interest to reanimate her still image, I turned Flat Granny’s photographic body into a costume.