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BY WALL DONE, 19/10/2011

What is going to become of a deliberately assembled family album which at the same time was trying to investigate current haunting problems? What does such a form demand?

The need to modify reality, to thicken the time and the situation, to stage things, to create a certain fiction or the illusion of fiction which will make it easier to speak of one’s own reality. What is this own, personal reality?

It is an image that simultaneously generates memory and determines what one would like to remember. It is also an ordinary snapshot or a family picture, as well as an after-image and deja-vu. It is both an account and reminiscence.

Sensitivity to images that are already familiar, that once appeared somewhere before our eyes – eyes conscious or unconscious of what they were seeing.

These images are scenes from movies we have seen, which are put together yet again from the surrounding elements by force of inertia. It is a state in which one wants to build an absolute monarchy of the image and cut oneself off from the non-ideal. To live in this fiction, tangling it up with the form of a family album, framing it and hanging on a hook.

What is a family album without people who can identify the photographs it contains? An album without signatures, names, dates, names of places and the whole context which made it function as a collection of memories of a family? What is left of it when it is handled by someone to whom it was not addressed? What becomes of the reading of only the visual layer which is usually of secondary importance during the selection and choosing of the photographs for the album? What does the narrative springing from the sequence of the pictures, scenes, portraits and views speak about? Is it somehow related to the original intention of the author or is it completely at odds with it? Is another, partly reverse situation, possible, a situation in which the photograph without knowledge, consciousness and the will of the artist illustrates the synthesis of the future fate of those who appear in the photograph, the synthesis expressed precisely by means of the meanings and contents of the purely visual layer?

Is it possible to displace memories by the photographs that were taken at the very same time? Can one have a memory consisting only of photographed images, i.e. can one have a memory consisting of photographs only?


All images © Jakub Karwowski

Wall done MAGAZINE