Albarran Cabrera's statement
My grandfather was an amateur photographer who used a wooden view camera to take photos. When I was about 8, I became his ”assistant”, which only meant to hold a leg of his tripod. I recall those moments in which I was the subject photographed, then showing me a piece of paper still soaked with fixer and he would tell me: ”This is you.” That statement which seemed more than obvious at the time, began to gain significance as the years passed. My grandfather is gone and I am unable to clearly remember what I experienced in the past. So now to remember who I am, I need to look at that picture and then I can state: ”That’s me.”
When we look at a photograph related to our experiences, our intangible and unreliable memories surrender to the printed image. The concrete photographs replace our abstract memories and our identity is certified by that set of photographs.
Some time ago, a friend gave us some negatives and old postcards he had found inside a picture wallet in the trash. After scanning the negatives, we found they were family portraits taken about 40 years ago by an amateur photographer. All shared a common feature: they were underexposed, so it was really hard to recognize the people pictured. The family could be any one. Those moments, that formed part of the photographer’s identity, could also be ours. So, we decided to use our own photographs along with the anonymous ones, unifying all of them using the same printing process and thus, generating the identity and memories of someone who never existed.
The portfolio ”This is you” has been growing over time. Creating this fictitious family has helped us to go deeper into the concept of identity and as a result, we have become interested in the relation between place and identity.This new exploration has taken the form of ”This is you here”.
“… If we are something, we are our past, aren’t we? Our past is not what can be recorded in a biography or in the newspapers. Our past is our memory. That memory can be hidden or inaccurate—it doesn’t matter. It’s there, isn’t it? It can be a lie but that lie becomes part of our memory, part of us.”
– Jorge Luis Borges.