This hand-bound leather book fuses contemporary images of my Chilean friends with older photos of their relatives through the superimposing of transparent pages over cardstock paper. Throughout the process of going through the book, the viewer is asked to reconceptualize time—the older photographs attain a more permanent quality and the photographs taken from Facebook and other modern platforms of image-sharing are more ephemeral on the translucent paper. The viewer flips through, seeing time as circular and non-linear, experiencing the past through the present and moving back and forth between multiple temporal and physical spaces throughout the book. Drawing on Roland Barthes' idea in Camera Lucida that "photographs are the return of the dead," I wanted to make these photographs a physical manifestation of the memory and presence of the people in the photos that may no longer exist, calling to mind our relationship to family photo albums of relatives who we may or may not have met. Many of the photographs correspond directly to times both pre and post-dictatorship in Chile, giving these people and their memories a permanent and visible existence the dictatorship did not allow. (The dictatorship’s disappearing of persons that aimed to invalidate people and others' memories of them.)
Most of the text in the book comes from Gabriel García Márquez' Cien años de soledad (100 years of solitude), a book that focuses on many of the same themes I wanted to address with my book, such as the circularity of time, the repetition of family trauma, among others. Quotes from this book are paired with images that relate directly to the quotes.
Please be aware that this is a book that you are meant to see/touch/feel in person, looking through the pages at your own speed, feeling and smelling the protective leather cover, and engaging with each photograph in your own way.