I will be your image 2007
To make the installation I will be Your Image, I used photographs from my parents’ family album. Most of the photographs, which I remember from my early childhood, were taken before I was born. Some photographs seemed enigmatic because I couldn’t recognize the people they portrayed, and I remember being fascinated by them from an early age. These photos suggested a private sphere that could illuminate moments from my parents’ biography, giving me hope that I will be able to fill these gaps of knowledge about their life one day.
The other photographs were of family relatives; I found these photos emotionally reassuring, as they filled me with the confidence of belonging.
I printed the chosen photographs using newspaper silkscreen technique. This method yielded ambiguous images that couldn’t be interpreted immediately. The similarity in appearance of the photographs eliminated any sense of time and place.
The tension between the private family photographs and the mass-media printing technique created a new type of image: an archetypical anonymous family album.
I positioned the images in a dark, desolated room in the former Philips factory in Eindhoven. The space contains walls with ceramic tiles and different installation tubes (water, electricity, and air conditioning). The result was a scattered arrangement (on the walls, ceilings, metal beams) and one area with many photographs next to each other that functioned as the center.
Upon entering the dark space, each viewer received a small flashlight. Not knowing what to look for, they were compelled to search and discover the space and images at random. Once they discover the ‘center’ of the installation and realize that they are looking at a family album, the work could take on its complete meaning; Personal histories are mixed with social changes, and the individual becomes part of society.
By Juxtaposing the images to the room’s tubes and corners and contrasting notions of private/public and truth/fiction with the physicality of a space stripped from its former use, the installation explores the convergence of the reality, fiction, memory, and history of the site, and of the family as a social structure. Thus, offering participants the possibility of subjective reinterpretation by taking control over their own images and stories.