“Mamma, in the Meantime”: Tony Luciani’s Intimate and Playful Images of His Nonagenarian Mother

It touched my heart so deeply. The pictures does speak thousand words.

On Art and Aesthetics

Mamma Elia, a ninety-four-year-old great-grandmother, is the subject of “Mamma, in the Meantime” – a series in which she narrates her daily experiences of living with dementia through tableaux vivants directed by her son, Tony Luciani, an Ontario-based artist. Documented over the course of three years, this dialogue between mother and son depicts the passage of years and articulates a profound sense of loss. But it manages to remain funny, even upbeat. A variety of domestic props – from ovens and skateboards to easels and binoculars – come together in shots that exude warmth and evoke affection.

“Together, we have created a collection of images and anecdotes dealing with issues surrounding the loneliness of aging and the mourning of unrealized childhood dreams,” says Tony. “After WWII, when my mother was thirteen, she had an arranged marriage to a twenty-six-year-old stranger. My mother and her husband, Giovanni, eventually emigrated from Italy…

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