Re:present - (Family Album 1) 2007

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To see more images from this exibition view the Re;present Gallery page


After finding a number of photographic slides at a flea market my inquiries turned more towards the family snapshot.  These souvenirs from the 1960s provided an insight into a family on holiday and at special events; their familiar poses echoed through photograph albums the world over.  This prompted me to try to expand the collection by adding to it, not by retaking shots as Fiona Tann has successfully accomplished in her ‘Countenance’ series, or by sorting into categories from an archive of images as Joachim Schmid has done, but by matching them with similar shots from the 60s and 70s, collected through friends, family and the Internet.  Presenting them together in the form of a slide projection, grouped into ‘baby on the knee’ and ‘family celebrations’ etc, but out of date sequence, the images stand in for all family album photographs and provide a vehicle through which to remember one’s own history.  The subjects become intertwined and create a new or extended family with different narratives.  Text, gathered from anecdotes whilst collecting souvenirs, flash on the screen too quickly to comprehend, the transition of slides and the unsynchronised sound of the projector work with the ambiguous relationship between the families to both include and exclude the viewer. 


Other projections in the series are ‘Re:present’ (Mountains) which shows a relentless succession of mountain scenes, each one so similar to the previous one that the viewer must continue watching in order to detect difference,  and ‘Re:present’ (Red) which shows a group of discoloured slides which have been damaged through the developing process.  Finally, ‘Re:present’ (Not so good) shows a group of family snapshots where the focus of the subject is unclear due to composition, camera positioning or hand shake.  The title coming from the label on a box of found slides which were kept separate from the rest.  Although each show hints at the futility of keeping such anonymous or inferior images alongside more worthy photographs recognition of their value to function as souvenir remains present.