As a teenager, I had the shocking realization that many of my dreams and fantasies were not the products of my own imagination but of films I had seen when I was very young. It unleashed a profound skepticism in me about images and their meaning, but it also allowed me to see how powerful they can be. This haunted me when I relocated to New York and sought solace and grounding in my family’s photo albums. Looking often and repeatedly at pictures of my childhood, they suddenly stopped making sense to me.
How this has to be told digs into family photos and mementos to question how much they reveal and how much they silence. Meaning is destabilized as narratives accumulate on the surface of the images across generations and time. Why can't our family recordings just be images? Why do we burden them with so much responsibility of being something else? The show consists of light mobiles, collages and a 35mm slideshow. These are different responses at the intersection of photography, memory, belonging, and the loss of innocence. This is an invitation to the viewer to not stop at first appearances, to dig deeper into images.
The slideshow includes collaborations with Tamara Argamasilla, Sasha Bush, Aline Enríquez, Dustin Nakao Haider, Riley Hooper, Aline Hubard, Gülsüm Kavuncu, Minny Lee, Allyson Lupovich, Sam Margevicius, Groana Melendez, Irene Melis, Bia Monteiro, Alejandro Naranjo Juárez, Alejandro Naranjo Sandoval, Ofelia Naranjo Sandoval, Marie Louise Omme, Matthew Papa, Verónica Puche, Ofelia Sandoval López, Kat Shannon, Katrina Lillian Sorrentino, Marisa Sottos, Jessica Thalmann, Andrea Toca, and Cristina Velásquez.
Pictures from family recordings by Alejandro Naranjo Juárez and Ofelia Sandoval López.
I wrote a book of essays about topics surrounding this exhibition.
International Center of Photography and Bard College. 83 color pages. Printed by Conveyor.
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