Culture / Art Republik

Mutters Schuhe / Mother’s Shoes

Three generations of feisty women play dress-up in an intriguing photography series

May 27, 2014 | By Staff Writer

My mother was a hairdresser for almost 20 years. Although she was interested in getting higher education, her mother was so happy seeing her working in our little town in Bavaria, that my mother wasn’t able to try something else or move out of town.

German photographer Nina Roder traces her lineage of feisty, strong-willed women in her photography series titled Mutter Schuhe. Her photographs unfold like a story; showcasing the evolution of three generations of women in her family including herself, her mother and her maternal grandmother. All women are dressed in Roder’s mother’s clothing depicting a specific memory in her mother’s life. These memories include her mother’s bad prom date and her mother’s memory of her best friend. The photos are shot in old rooms in her mother’s childhood home in the Franconian Province. In addition to the clothings in the photos, the rooms are also narratively connected to each referenced memory. All in all, these intriguing photographs question the notion of time and memory, exploring how different individuals recall the past and how it evolves as time wears on.

Roder explains that “these questions are approached through performative experiments rather than through explanations of the complex metamorphosis of memories in general.” 

Mutters Schuhe Mothers Shoes

Mutters Schuhe Mothers Shoes 1

Mutters Schuhe Mothers Shoes 2


The prom night of my mother has always stayed in her mind as a complete disaster. Not only was her date a bad dancer, he brought her carnations — the flower associated with graves in Germany.

Mutters Schuhe Mothers Shoes 3

 Mutters Schuhe Mothers Shoes 5

Mutters Schuhe Mothers Shoes 4


The first best friend of my mother died some years ago. She was the friend she first tried make up with, first got dressed up with.

Mutters Schuhe Mothers Shoes 8

Mutters Schuhe Mothers Shoes 7  Mutters Schuhe Mothers Shoes 9


Learn more about the Artist and her performative photography here 

Images via Lensculture 

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