Al & Alice
Al & Alice
Photographs of loved ones are tantalizing because they promise to give you something, but the more you look at them, the less they deliver. They intensify a feeling of wanting to be connected, but cannot satisfy it. In this project, I am trying to capture more than a specific memory of a person, but rather their essence and the profound sense of loss that is part of forgetting someone.
The Alice project originated with a trove of photographs and a body of work in poetry that I inherited from my late aunt, the last living relative of my parents' generation. My reclusive aunt was the family archivist who saved photographs and material objects from past generations. The archive of photographs goes back to the turn of the last century. Studio photographs are mixed in with snapshots, many are of people I never met, but even those I knew are like ghosts from another era.
This suite of Al & Alice Portraits are appropriated from hand tinted studio photographs and photo booth prints. These images were ubiquitous in their time and are a reflection of the period in terms of pose, hairstyles, and other gender tropes, as well as mid-century photographic processes. I am re-photographing and re-imagining these analog images and from the intimate two-inch photos, creating large-scale archival inkjet prints imbued with the softness and loss of detail that comes with one’s recollection of the past and the ongoing process of remembering memories.
This project includes a quartet of film poems based on the poetry of Alice Goncalves Sousa including Promises, The Flame Still Burns, Alvaro, and Elusive Beauty. See the Film Stills section of this web-site for more information.