Family Portrait

Family Portrait is a task demanding acrobatic prowess. Skillfully executed, it will place itself on the border of memory and self-creation, avoiding excessive naturalism.

Drawing some of your own blood is necessary to do the task, although the project does not have to be based on real events. We do not demand a forced exhibitionism; introverts are not made to give detailed testimonies – we acknowledge the force of mystification and the beauty of camouflage.

Family is not an emotionally indifferent word, and each time it demands specification – it sounds different depending on who utters it. In our memory we conserve recollections, a complex register of relations, a balance of damage and loss. Incomes and profits. Those who come and those who go. A general definition could state that family is a web of relations born in a particular time and place. And time is an important factor in storytelling. Portrait makes time stand still, it provokes a crystallization of thoughts and feelings.

The task is concerned with depicting relations set in a rather loosely defined time and a rather well-defined space – we should bear in mind that the final result will be exhibited in a particular space (the lithography studio).

Family Portrait is a workshop in landscape retrospective, fields recollections, and patches of unorganized thoughts. The task is an attempt at answering several questions, the most important being – Who am I? I am a son/daughter of extra/ordinary, un/reliable parents, I am a sister/brother, aunt with a beard, uncle with a moustache, a nephew who goes way too far, a niece with no sense of humour, a member of a motley herd slowly wandering through the green grass of innocence. Being a family member entitles you to a lot, e.g.: pestering yourself with memories, torturing your loved ones with your presence, awarding these close distant people with unannounced visits or favouring them with a more, or less, motivated love/hate. Family Portrait is an attempt at defining yourself/an individual in his or her relation with others, a sketch of a sort of web that automatically becomes a unique composition – a blend resulting from what we see looking both ways – forwards and backwards.
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