Location: Miami Beach, FL, United States
The starting point for this new series of works deals with a formal connection to the physicality of each of the empty, sun-bleached, pages of a recovered photo album I inherited from my grandmother. The salvaged album held almost no testimony of the life that it was supposed to carry. My process has been to re-imagine and re-build new narratives upon what was left.
I have photographed each of the album pages and repurposed the resulting images as a “canvas” to later intervene them with materials that are traditionally used in family albums: photo-corners, vellum and glassine, as well as recycled album pages, photo-sleeves, gold-leaf, thread, and paint.
For this series, I elicit and question the empty space – the notion of ‘what remains’ – of the physical photo album, while playfully exploring the numerous possibilities of unkept recollections in which the absent memories become abstractions. As new technologies claim to aid us in preserving our memories, I reflect on the progressive shift of vernacular photography and the disappearance of the family album as an “object”. These works reflect upon how memory is built through the subjective hand of the album-maker, choosing to edit the narrative for subsequent generations. These handmade additions to my deconstructed album pages are evoking the subtle gestures that historically have revolved around the feminine, in contrast to the traditionally ‘masculine’ activity of photographing.
What began as a study and reflection on the absence of memories shifted into a series of unique works on paper that build upon the open, indeterminate and ambiguous relationship between photography and meaning of the photo album. The resulting works are focused on the physical materiality of the family album and evoke the deconstructed process of the making of the album itself: a handmade, long term construction of edited narratives, showing a past that is long gone, yet entirely present and future oriented.