FAMILY ALBUM - REALITY OF FICTION

Hence the charm of family albums. Those grey sepia shadows, phantom like and almost indecipherable, are no longer traditional family portraits but rather the disturbing presence of lives halted at a set moment in their duration, freed from their destiny; not however by the prestige of art but by the power of an impassable mechanical process: for photography does not create eternity as art does, it embalms time, rescuing it simply from its own proper corruption.

                                                                                                                                            The Ontology of the Photographic Image,
André Bazin



                                                             Always remember that you are absolutely unique - just like everyone else.
                                                                                                                                             Margaret Mead

 
The role of family albums is to arrange, preserve and commemorate a history of a single life thereby valuating it as an individual and unique one. The Family Album - Reality of Fiction series employs convention of family vernacular photographs while arguing with the paradigm of their uniqueness and exploring their function beyond being private archives.
Seeing consecutively the monochromatic photographs, it turns out that the pictures were entirely staged within a photographic studio. The action of each photograph takes place among cartoon sets, dummies, props and mannequins that have replaced real family members. In fact, what we see is not a family album, but its visual representation: a model or a dummy of vernacular family depiction.
The photographs were created on the basis of the most common family pictures, acquiring compositions, gestures, dress-codes, lighting and scenes frequently seen in the family photographs.
Next to accompanying it Sketchbook – scenography drawings and detailed plans of realization of each scene in a studio – the Family Album can be found a step-by-step instruction how to properly make one’s own, “real” family documentation.
Although the Family Album, entirely artificial and meticulously arranged, has nothing to do with vernacular photography, it inevitably associates with a family keepsake.
The paradox character of the body of work provokes questions not only about the heavily structured fabrics of society, but also about photography’s role as a medium that constitutes preconceptions about the shape of family and prompts repeating the common models that structure individual’s life and identity.

Family Album series,

Photography,

Archival print,

2016