It is an attempt to reclaim the content of our past in a moment of history that seeks to separate it from context, reducing it to abstract meaning, separating the life contained within from their humanity.
In a time of growing visual distractions and digital noise, it is an attempt to push the viewer to look at the photographs beyond the constraints of the perverse frame on the screen or as they hang on the wall, and see them as they are simply displayed in our homes on el bureau. To look past the frame and into the time that they were created and maybe seek a deeper connection.
It is a reminder of how when outsiders view them, they are simply prizes to be hung on the wall, but to us, they are family photos full of deep personal meaning that connects us with our past. They are personal possessions, those moments frozen in time, for those of us who lived through the fire years. They are not an abstract concept, politely discussed in a gallery or museum over wine and cheese.
They are photos of the neighbor’s daughter, dancing in the street, who inexplicably dies a few months later plunging a neighborhood into mourning. It’s those smiling faces, those kooky moments with friends who are no longer here with us. It’s how a government agency takes away one’s humanity by simply making you wait while sitting in a chair. It’s that family desperately struggling to stay together when they just lost everything.
They are photos of our friends, lovers, family and our community.
This is our family photo album.
November 1, 2014