The family photo is an attempt to articulate through conversation and action the nature, strength and type of relationships I personally have through the institution of the ‘Family’.
The concept of the Family as an institution has been a part of public political conversation throughout history. It is an institution regularly scorned by the political left and fetishised by conservatives and the right. By inviting those I consider to be part of my ‘traditional’ family and those who make up my ‘extended’ family I wished to acknowledge those that attend and collectively discuss the nature of our shared autonomy.
By centring myself, a potentially egotistical and politically problematic move, i chose to recognise the limitation of the exercise as all emirates from myself, the only conclusions that can be drawn are about my perception of my reality. It also allows for me to drive the process forward, part of a conception that the process serves my own capacity to resist whilst demonstrating a possible tactic for negotiating autonomy through criticism of, and creation within, an existing institutional framework.
Positioning myself at the centre of the supposed frame, I then position those that attend in relation to me. This is a collaborative process based around conversations between me and the individual, deciding how we collectively feel our relation could be best shown using distance and the photographs frame as vocabulary. Ultimately the final positioning and resulting image are not important, but rather the process and conversation that was enabled.
To push these conversations into this realm, when predominantly it is suggested that they should happen privately or not at all in many cases, I wish to make implicit the need for more explicit negotiation. It feels essential to put these notions front and centre within the institution that is central to my existence and the main reservoir of capacity to resist that I draw from, my personal family.