Reboot Ideas Conversations

Reboot Ideas Presents: Gillian Laub and Dr. Orna Guralnik on “Family Matters”

October 27, 2021

Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Gillian Laub has spent decades using her camera to explore and investigate regions of political, social and psychological conflict, inviting both her subjects and viewers into the complicated conversations of repair and reconciliation. In 2016, in the midst of the most divisive election in US history, with her family on two sides of the gaping divide, Laub discovered that the discord that historically captivated her was inextricably linked to the complex and loving relationships she had been chronicling in her own family for more than  two decades. On October 27, 2021, Reboot and the International Center of Photography hosted renown psychoanalyst Dr. Orna Guralnik, therapist of the Showtime critically acclaimed series Couples Therapy, with Laub to examine the vulnerability, vitriol, pain, humor and love Laub explores and shares in her deeply personal monograph Family Matters (Aperture, October 2021.) Set at the ICP’s new integrated center on the Lower East Side against the backdrop of Laub’s Family Matters photography installation, explored the edges of love and tolerance, family, privilege, wealth and mortality.

About the Speakers

Gillian Laub (born in Chappaqua, New York, 1975) is a photographer and filmmaker based in New York. She received a BA in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, before studying photography at the International Center of Photography, New York. Her works include the book Testimony (Aperture, 2007) and the book and HBO film Southern Rites (2015). Laub received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in 2019.

Dr. Orna Guralnik is a psychoanalyst and writer who serves on the faculty of NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and National Institute for the Psychotherapies, and on the editorial boards of Psychoanalytic Dialogues and Studies in Gender & Sexuality. Her writing centers on the intersection of psychoanalysis, dissociation and cultural studies. She co-founded the Center for the Study of Dissociation and Depersonalization at the Mount Sinai Medical School and is a graduate of NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis.

About the ICP Exhibition – Gillian Laub: Family Matters: Funny, poignant, troubled, and challenging, Family Matters is photographer Gillian Laub’s two decade-long documentation of her family’s emotional and political dramas, combining photographs and audio recordings full of telling psychological detail. Her deeply personal and unsettling images document high emotion, unexpected humor, and deep love. As it moves through time, the exhibition becomes a microcosm of a deeply conflicted nation, as the artist and her parents find themselves on opposing sides of a sharp political divide—tearing at multigenerational family ties, and forcing everyone to ask what, in the end, really binds them together. An in-depth audio guide, voiced by Laub, shares family stories behind the images. The exhibition is curated by David Campany and coincides with the publication of a companion book by Aperture.

About the Publication: A companion book, Family Matters, was published by Aperture in September 2021. With more than 80 images, accompanied by a personal account of the artist’s life in her own words, the book offers a compelling picture of the fractures in contemporary American society, in a subversively funny and gut-wrenchingly familiar way. Purchase Family Matters through ICP’s shop.hotographer and filmmaker Gillian Laub and Dr. Orna Guralnik, therapist of the Showtime series Couples Therapy, explore the edges of love and tolerance, family, privilege, wealth and mortality.

The International Center of Photography is the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture. Cornell Capa founded ICP in 1974 to champion “concerned photography”—socially and politically minded images that can educate and change the world. Through our exhibitions, education programs, community outreach, and public programs, ICP offers an open forum for dialogue about the power of the image. Since its inception, ICP has presented more than 700 exhibitions, provided thousands of classes, and hosted a wide variety of public programs. The International Center of Photography (ICP) launched its new integrated center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side on January 25, 2020. Located at 79 Essex Street, ICP is the cultural anchor of Essex Crossing, one of the most highly anticipated and expansive mixed-use developments in New York City. Visit to learn more.