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Project Statement

by J. Drucker

A finely designed object, taking the reader into the book through a series of fragmented and gradually recognizable pieces of a portrait of the author's mother. The story of her mother, and her relation to her mother, is full of ambivalences, subtexts and tensions, and the way the images are fetishized and used to reference each other with a hint of obsessional compulsion creates the emotional effect of familial claustrophobia. Lyons's work is always exquisitely designed to take best advantage of her media, and this book is no exception. Contrasting this with other autobiographical works would make this point even more clearly, and in many ways the success of Lyons's designs makes the careful choices involved almost disappear. This is a useful book for teaching, as well as for reading/viewing, because of the way it develops through the graphic structure of its presentation.

My Mother's Book

Joan Lyons


Joan Lyons

type: initiating


Publication Information

publisher: Joan Lyons

publication: 1993-00-00

publication history: Printed and published at Visual Studies Workshop Press in Rochester, NY, in 1993. [E. Rettberg]

Aesthetic Profile

feminism (AAT)

autobiography (AAT)
biography (AAT)

themes: history, motherhood, immigration, recovery of personal history [E. Rettberg]

content form:
prose (local)
documentary (local)

publication tradition:
album (local)

community: press Visual Studies Workshop Press, Rochester, NY [E. Rettberg]