Location: United States
Vanessa Fischer is an artist from Stony Brook, New York currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She has recently completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography and Integrated Media at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from CUNY Queens College. Fischer is New York State certified to teach visual art. She teaches photography in the New York City public school system full time.
Fischer’s art works have been exhibited in major group exhibitions: MFA in Photo and Integrated Media Thesis Exhibition 2019 at Raizes Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Fresh Faces at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts; Documenting Village Life 2018 at Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo in Oaxaca, Mexico; Passion vs Pragmatism at The Art Vacancy in Brooklyn, New York; Flushing Town Hall Alumni Art Show at the Flushing Town Hall in Queens, New York; and in Snap Into Photography at Queens College in Flushing, New York.
Fischer’s artistic practice reflects her personal journey and exploration of the loss of her mother at age fourteen with an emphasis on the impact it has on her life. Currently, Fischer is working on connecting with the women on her maternal side who knew her mom. She is investigating the idea that her mother and perhaps other women in her family feel like glue that seems to keep her family together.
Past and continuing projects include This Way Through the Darkness, a choreographed installation about searching for the essence of her mother and My Mom’s Gesture, a photography project where, in order to get closer to her mother, Fischer photographs women who remind her of her mom and are of the approximate age her own mother would have been today. Fischer also works in alternative photographic processes, as in her series Adult Womb, she photographed a woman underwater in place of herself, distorting the body to mimic a developing baby in a womb, and the series Reflective Memories On My Home, in which she photographed the reflective surfaces around the home where she grew up one month before the home was sold.
This body of work addresses the fragility and discomfort that permeates much of my life due to the premature death of my mother. This loss has left me longing for maternal connection. I photograph mothers of the approximate age my own mom would have been. Through them, I catch glimpses of my mother, within a specific gesture, stance, movement, or performance of a simple household task. There is a comfort I feel while collaborating with the mothers, and for a moment, I am an adopted daughter; I feel the boundaries and securities of a relationship I once knew, as we share intimate memories of our moms. The recreation of the feeling of my mother’s presence, capturing her very essence, allows me to linger a bit longer and to contemplate what was, and what might have been.