Can I Grieve That Which Never Was?
Official website for artist Nicole Rademacher
Nicole Rademacher, Rademacher artist, Los Angeles, Chile, Barcelona, interdisciplinary, research-based, contemporary artist, conceptual artist, adoptee, adoptee voices, social practice artist, public practice artist, art therapy
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Can I Grieve That Which Never Was?

Using actual photographs of my biological and adopted families from the ‘80s and ‘90s, Can I Grieve … explores the fantasies of my “ghost kingdom.” (A ghost kingdom is a term used to describe the imaginary family that adopted kids imagine is their real biological families and is experienced by many children who are adopted, especially trans-culturally or trans-racially.) I reunited with my biological family when I was 26. It was then that I found out that my biological parents (one American and one Mexican) married 2 years after I was born, and I have 2—fully biological—younger brothers. I have scanned and blown up specific photographs of the lives of my biological family before reuniting and placed images of my childhood on top. I methodically cut myself out of the images of my childhood, symbolizing the loss, and replaced it with vellum. All of the images have been organized into a family photo album thus creating an imagined and fantasized upbringing, a psychic reality.




photographs, vellum, photo album


each collage is about 10 x 10 inches