Andrea Modica (who, unfortunately, does not have her own website) became known for a book she published in 1996 called Treadwell. She made these images in her rural town in upstate New York between 1986 and 1995, focusing on a young girl named Barbara and her family.
The images are not meant to be a document of a geographic area, or even of a family. Many of her photographs are staged. Instead, they examine relationships and are a psychological exploration of her subjects. Somehow Andrea twists reality into fantasy, and she creates stories that seem to have no concrete narrative, yet they suggest to us that something incredibly complex is happening.
Barbara's family has fourteen children living in a very harsh economic circumstance. According to Andrea, ". . .this is a very large family, many of them did not make it through grammar school, they are on and off welfare, and involved with some violence. Their values are very different from mine, but through this project over the years we've found some common ground, in addition to which my fears and prejudices have been challenged."
"There is a Treadwell, population 200, in rural New York south of the Susquehanna, south of interstate 88, and it is the place where, ten years ago, Andrea Modica took the first and now famous photograph in this study, two children caught in the hands of adults; we look and wonder, are they sheltered or imprisoned, resigned or straining against the hold, is the clasp tender, is the bathrobed child prevented from hearing something dreadful, is the other seeing something that can never be forgotten? The slant of white buttons, the tiny downward glint of a ring introduces us to the richly fleshed and beautiful child who is the central figure in Treadwell, moving from this moment out of childhood toward the shoals of adult life."© Andrea Modica"For a decade Modica followed her subjects from one decayed farmhouse to another, photographing in an atmosphere of crowded rooms and generations of bad luck. The photographs are not some chronicle of despair, but caught moments in lives ruled by hard situations; there are possibilities of anything."