The piece focuses on an obsessive search for a place of identification and belonging. I describe it as a long car ride without arrival because every apparent arrival makes you painfully aware, that homeland isn’t where you searched for it. The book is an old family album filled with my own photographs, which I mostly took out of the moving car. I also manipulated them in a way, so they look old. In so doing present melts into past and reality into fiction.
An old family album is filled with personal mental connections to the past: letters, images, words.... It is a try of reconstruction, to return the past with means of the present. But how much truth is in it? And how much utopia? Thus memory is a composition of truth and decorative attachment. The higher the temporal and local distance to the past, the more the truth is reduced to the essential – a metaphor about time and space, about childhood and homeland.
The headscarf is a symbol. It tells about womanhood and suppression, about tradition and religion, about a society, about yesterday and tomorrow. The headscarf plays an important role in many societies. In fact the black headscarf is the most striking detail thing which I remember from my childhood as a part of the German minority living in Romania. It was a visual sign of marriage and "Deutschtum", which distinguished the German women from the Romanian women. The headscarf still attends me in today's life: socially, politically, personally.
A surface is the exterior boundary of an object. A surface covers, protects and hides secrets. A book has a surface, too: a cover, which protects the paper sheets and therefore the content. Since the invention of the photo camera it became a tradition in the Western culture to keep the collective memories in albums and in so doing to document one's own origin. It was handed from generation to generation.
I buy old family albums at the flea market, which seem to become worthless. I dissolve the collective memory of a family just to create a new, general one. In my work „Below the surface” I invite the beholder to throw his voyeureristic glance at an unknown photo album. Page by page, layer by layer the viewer immerses deeper below the surface of a cryptic tale - a tale, which is identified by the viewer's associations.
The photo album is a metaphor of doubting the own existance - an archive of evidences of life, which becomes worthless when nobody remembers the stories behind the images anymore. I bought this photo album at the flea market and filled it with my own images: images of death and deterioration - an archive of oblivion.