Will You Hug Me Forever
As the COVID-19 virus claims the lives of my extended family and friends and family grapple with its symptoms, I feel both lucky and trapped in isolation with my children.
"Will You Hug Me Forever" developed within hours after learning that two members of my extended family had died from COVID-19 in New York City. I also wanted to honor the sacrifices of essential workers. In reaction, I chose to wear a Personal Protective Equipment mask nonstop for eight hours while I homeschooled my two young children. I photographed myself at hour intervals and only removed the mask for the photographs, exposing and highlighting the mark the pressure of the mask exerted on my skin. The resulting experience, evident in the photos, is of a person overwhelmed by the resulting emotional distance due to the enforced lack of physical connection to my children. The title comes from a point when during the ordeal my then 6-year-old daughter looked at me with concern and asked. “Will You Hug Me Forever”? “Yes,” I answered, “as long as I am able.”