Mohini Chandra

‘Album Pacifica’ Mohini Chandra

For my core brief I’d like to either create a book or video or both, supplemented with photographs and videos of my father and myself. I’d like to scan the images, revealing the entire outline of the physical image similarly to Sophie Calle’s, ‘Diaries’ series. With this idea in mind, in class we were introduced to artist Mohini Chandra in our lecture about archives, who also combines photographic, video and film images in her works. I was particularly intrigued by Chandra’s series, ‘Album Pacifica’ (1997) an installation of one hundred of Chandra’s family photographs, framed with the backs facing us, the images themselves facing the wall. It’s an entirely new alternative viewing experience. The handwritten captions, dates or a joke scribbled on the back of the photographs requires an imaginative leap in translating them into actual images, leaving the audience completely suspended to make up your own mind. Viewing the images in this way, images from different generations, build up an interesting narrative of relationships, displacements and departures.

‘Album Pacifica’ Mohini Chandra

‘Album Pacifica’ Mohini Chandra

After looking at ‘Album Pacifica’ I began looking through my own family photographs both back and front.  I was surprised to see that many of the photographs that belonged to my grandfather and father are dated or supplemented with names and places. I find it intriguing viewing images in this way and may include the backs of my fathers’ photographs in my final project in some way.

Overall, as a final piece I’d like to create an archive of my father revealing who he was…or at least attempt to create one. I didn’t know my father terribly well. He was incredibly quiet, detached from most people and would never really reveal what he was thinking or feeling to anyone. I’ve attempted to gain access to my fathers mental records from the times he had spent in psychiatric and rehabilitation centres. However, due to data protection, I’ve been unsuccessful. There go, forming an analysis of my father, his life and the ending to his life, I felt could be achieved through looking at family albums. Considering the photographic archive -the most common and familiar photographic archive for is the family album– collections of family portraits and moments meant to capture the family history as well as preserve  moments for recollection and memories. Upon inspection you can see my father deteriorate through the albums belonging to my grandparents which I want to explore in my final piece. Therefore, I’d like to include family photographs in my final project as I feel it shows an innocence of my father and illustrates effectively the effects of drugs.

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