The Photographic Journal


Essay 218 • Nov 3rd 2017

I wanted to explore the unforgettable moments and emotions from daughters with absent fathers. The images are inspired by the intense recollections and abstracted emotions of several women, including myself, who were brave enough to share their experiences, creating a dialogue about what it means to have a father who was absent, abusive, manipulative or never understood the role a father should have in his daughter’s life.

This work uses a mix of softer abstractions, concentrated still life, and depictions of emotion, bringing life to the way our memories interact with reality. The use of explicit quotes from fathers and hazy flashbacks show the elusive remembrance of these exact moments and feelings, as the words and experiences still tarnish our perceptions and hinder the way we interact with the world. Lucid still life and sharp imagery shows the intense moments when we knew our fathers weren’t as present as they should have been. Whether it was when they threw a cell phone into the wall with anger, left a note but never returned, or punched a light bulb with their bare fist, these moments feel heavy. We remember them a little louder than other memories, even if we don’t want to.


Kaitlin Molchen is a photographer, artist & wishful thinker from Columbus, Ohio. She received her BFA in Photography from Columbus College of Art & Design. She is a visual and conceptual artist who explores documentation, conceptual fine art, creative still life & dream-like portraiture. Shooting mostly with medium format, 35mm and digital cameras, always reaching for whichever tool fits the feel of the project. Currently interested in exploring how our past interacts with our present and the human condition.

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