Photographer Marissa Webb’s younger sister Kaitlin was born with Rett’s Syndrome, a severe neurological disorder equivalent to cerebral palsy, autism, anxiety, Parkinson’s and epilepsy all rolled into one. An ongoing series of photographs by Webb documents Kaitlin’s life with equal parts love and honesty: the 22-year-old appears dark-haired and beautiful, entranced by a string of plastic purple beads, a package of adult diapers and baby bottle nearby. Webb also prints books of these and other photos and gives them to Kaitlin, who in her exploration crumples and tears them up. The remains, collaged and rephotographed, suggest that what might conventionally seem without worth—destroyed pictures, a developmentally challenged life—is in fact rich with aesthetic and affective value. Tearing is making too.
—Lori Waxman 3/24/16 11:31 AM