Tommy Keith is a Canadian photographer currently living in Chicago, IL. He’s an MFA Candidate in Photography at Columbia College Chicago, where he is the recipient of a Graduate Award and works as a Teaching Assistant. Online publications include It’s Nice That, The Heavy Collective, C41 Magazine and Lenscratch, among others. Most recently, he participated in Filter Photo’s 3rd Annual Members Exhibition at Fogelson Studio, Chicago, and was named a 2019 Flash Forward Emerging Photographer by The Magenta Foundation. Upcoming exhibitions include Knotweed at Aviary Gallery, Jamaica Plain, which opens February 13, 2020.
The Donor Sibling Laboratory
Every once in a while, when my dad and I are together, someone will make a comment about our striking resemblance. When this happens, we both laugh and he usually makes a joke about his baldness, and then we carry on. We laugh because we know it’s impossible for us to look alike; he’s not my biological father. I was conceived at a fertility clinic using an anonymous donation from a sperm bank. I’ve always understood that an anonymous donor helped my parents have me and that, although we’ll never know anything else about him, he was kind enough to help us. However, as I’ve gotten older, I find myself wondering what my bio-dad might look like. Is he even alive? Why does he want to remain anonymous? Do we look alike? Nowadays, I often see people that look like me and wonder if there’s any chance we’re related. With this project, I’m interested in questioning the importance of blood relation within families and whether being related to someone even matters at all. I’m using the camera as a visual investigative tool to explore questions that I may never know the answer to.
To view more of Tommy Keith’s work please visit his website.