A Family Album
Through pre-existing family snapshots and photographs, our history and relative place in the world is identified. Accurately documenting ancestral practice and maintaining a record of lineage gives structure to our individual backgrounds. Foregoing album imagery creates a visual dialogue of prior experience; identical characteristics exist in the recreation of a family album.
The fabrication of this collective of photographs is constructed from a narrative and autobiographical reference point. In the absence of written or verbal documentation, the portrait photograph serves as evidence of heritage, while the photographs of place define the cultural awareness of belonging. Making assumptions about environment and social context cannot replicate a timeline of people or events that have previously occurred. Rather, by examination, the source images are supportive in the manufacturing of deliberate imagery that is reminiscent and comparative to the vernacular photography that inspired it.
An intrinsic element of vernacular imagery is the absence of information that accompanies it. Album images suggest that a narrative outside of the photograph’s frame exists; moments not captured by the camera have an implied existence because of the ones that are—they suggest a larger scope of time and physical presence in space occupied by a particular family. The passing of time obscures a deeper meaning in the images as we begin to internalize it, making us aware of the suspect nature of the photograph itself. As a viewer to these types of photographs, it is possible that the figures and space captured are unrecognizable and that the photographer remains anonymous or undocumented.
Creating a collection of documental imagery is an attempt at setting a scene for an imaginary past. Idealizing history and experience to suit personal ambition is derived from family members and those places and situations that have defined my individual existence in these moments of memory. The importance of family photographic albums and their continual being is a testament to the appreciation and indefinite concern that we have for distinguishing our past from our present—for without them, we may not be able to frame our futures.