Below the Surface

2014, photo album, photography, mixed media, wax, 27 x 19 x 8 cm

A surface is the outer shell of an object. A surface envelops, protects and conceals secrets. The leather cover of a book or photo album is, literally, the skin that protects the pages and thus also the contents. Since the invention of the camera, it has become a tradition in the Western world to preserve the collective memory of a family in photo albums and thus document one’s own origins. It was passed on from generation to generation.

However, the collective memory does not last (Aleida Assmann) and after three generations it has changed so much that a family album can lose its ideal value. I buy such family albums, which have obviously become worthless, at virtual flea markets. I dissolve their collective memory in order to create a new, universal one.

In this work I invite the viewer to cast their voyeuristic gaze into an unknown photo album. Page by page, layer by layer, he penetrates deeper beneath the surface of a cryptic narrative – a story that opens up to everyone in a different way.

This work is available as a physical object or video.

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