Fotomonday: A spectacle and nothing strange – by Ahndraya Parlato

With “Fotomonday“, each week we showcase the work of women photographers from around the world.



Irrational images flash through our minds all the time, in dreams and daydreams. Ahndraya Parlato’s work imagines an oscillation between these “internal” and “external” images, revealing the possibilities of different realities. Combining ten years’ worth of images.

A Spectacle and Nothing Strange draws on Parlato’s experience being raised by a single mother who was mentally ill. From an early age, Parlato was put in the unique position of having to decide whether her mother’s observations and fears were real or imagined. These photographs allow her to move between various realities, acknowledging the validity of her mother’s world, while also questioning the boundaries of normal, abnormal, sane, and insane. 



Ahndraya Parlato was born in Kailua, Hawaii. She has a B.A. in photography from Bard College and an MFA from California College of the Arts. In 2014, she published East of the Sun, West of the Moon with Études Books and in 2016 she published A Spectacle and Nothing Strange with Kehrer Verlag.
In 2013, Ahndraya was a New York Foundation for the Arts grant recipient, Magenta Foundation Emerging Photographer Award winner and was shortlisted for the MACK First Book Award. She has also been a Light Work grant recipient and was a nominee for the Paul Huf Award from the FOAM Museum in Amsterdam. She was also a nominee for the SECA Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 
In 2008, she created and curated Art for Obama, a fundraiser that included the work of over sixty photographers, including Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Katy Grannan, Richard Misrach, Larry Sultan, and Wolfgang Tillmans. 

See more of her work