Familiar Things

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (Tolstoj, L. 1877:1)

“Familiar Things” is an immersive project which reflects on the constructed nature of traditional family representation and the visual relationship between personal and collective memory.

Family albums are one of the means that families have used since the advent of photography to document their own, personal memory. Their content and aesthetic, though, as many scholars and artists have highlighted, seems to distantiate from the representation of reality. Rather, they seem to aspire to “perpetuate familial myth while seeming merely to record actual moments in family history” (2002, p.7), as Marianne Hirsch argues.

The result is often that of images which, once stripped of the single identities of the relatives captured, all resemble each other. Familiar Things reflects on the constructed nature of such images through three different visual divices: billboards, Gifs and an installation.