Fault Line


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In her series Fault Line, New York-based photographer Sophie Barbasch captures her family in their shared experience of estrangement and divide. She metaphorizes this with a fault line, the geological splitting of the earth during an earthquake.

The series, based prominently around her young cousin Adam, portrays her family members mostly in their own quiet, reflective moments, as if they’re exhausted by a sense of wrongdoing, or fault, that hangs over them. For example, we see Adam, troubled and pensive, his body often appearing heavy and slouched or the man sitting alone in his car surrounded by darkness. Barbasch explains she finds herself pondering the question: How does a family support each other, even when things aren’t perfect?

The work is personal to Barbasch’s experience, yet we can recognize ourselves and our relationships in the photographs, staged but familiar, as we try to understand the complex balance within a family, as an entity that brings both hurt and comfort.


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