Next of Kin by Oxiea Villamonte : Antwerp
Oxiea Villamonte born in Chicago Illinois in 1995, raised in Amsterdam. Currently working and living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Graduated from the photography department of The Royal Academy of Fine Art Antwerp in September 2020. My graduation work is a book titled: Next of Kin which I published together with Stockmans Art Books.
“Next of Kin tells my story through three different generations of women. It’s not a linear one, neither a chronological one, it is an intertwining story where the past and the present try to connect with each other as well as disconnect.
My identity is deeply influenced by my mother and how she raised me. When looking in a mirror I see my mother staring back at me. While embracing these similarities, there still runs a fear through me of repeating similar choices. This path of finding my own identity has leaded me to Chicago, the place where I was born.
By using the archive of my mother when she was my age, I try to deceive the viewer into thinking we are one person. This feeling even gets reinforced in the similarity of the style and the people we choose to surround us with. In the meanwhile, my grandmothers voice echoes throughout the book in the form of anecdotes where she answered trivial questions right before she died. My grandmother and mother shared also this almost identical relationship as I do with my mother.
Next to this search in finding similarities, I also try to find a way to distinguish myself. This distinction I find in my alternate self, that I call Zillah.
Dedicated to Virginia and Reina.”