In this ongoing project I have reproduced old photographs from various family albums with descendants of the people photographed in the original ones. I have chosen people with significant physical resemblance to their relatives, sometimes over the span of several generations.
With every participant, who shares the same features, genes and perhaps characteristics as his ancestors, we thoroughly researched together family albums as influential artefacts on their personal lives and self-identity. This meant establishing a strong connection to their past through the act of performance.
Performance is a daily action requiring a person to adapt his behaviour to the people surrounding him. Naturally, different surroundings call for an adaptive demeanour. For example, a role played by a parent will be different from a role played by the son. In this project, a double-act was required: older generations put on an act they played in this “scene”, according to what they wanted to convey to the photographer or the viewers. The reenactment by a son or a grandchild calls for both imitation and interpretation by the modern-time subject in order to fully identify with their relative’s entire existence. However, the true nature of the original act is unknown to the younger generations, as they did not know their relatives when the original photographs were taken. They can only guess what was happening during the primary act; for a short moment, with the assumption of the originally envisaged role played, a distinct expression can be practically identical to the original, even in a time span of 102 years.
Particularly interesting subset of works revolves around the formation of a multiple-generation connection: two different reconstructed photographs of three or four different generations that have preserved similarities over long periods of time. These are manifested at a few intersecting junctures of their lives. This act expands the limited view of a single moment to the broader social point of view of how do family albums shape the collective memory of families and societies and how do people adjust their daily performances to their surroundings and, in particular, when they are positioned in front of cameras.
A short loop of videos accompanies the 20 pairs of photographs, reconstructing the moments that could presumably have taken place before and after the picture was taken and reviving the faded figures with colour, sound and motion.