Memory and remembrance are fickle things, apply them to family histories and it can be even more so. Similarly, while browsing one’s own family photo albums can often be a simple nostalgia imbued process, sifting through the extensive personal photographic archive of a close departed relative can be a disconcerting and at times daunting endeavor. Make the respective family member a difficult father figure known only through the eyes of a child, with a rich convoluted history, and what you have is a melting pot of father complexes and conflicting available interpretations.
Andrei Mateescu practiced photography avidly, with a greater extent in the 1975-1985 period it seems, documenting both the landscapes and the lives he passed through. A little while after his death, by chance, Andrei Mateescu picked up photography too and, although readily available, he never whished or had much curiosity to browse through Andrei Mateescu’s photography prints, slides and rolls of film. Still, regrets were felt for not being able to look into each other’s eyes as adults, wondering if they ever truly knew one another and to what extent. Following a hiatus period, and amid questions of his own identity and maturity, Andrei Mateescu made the decision to finally cast an eye on Andrei Mateescu’s photographic work.
Included, a manual slide projector, illuminated work description signage (artist, years of production, materials) and 30 reversal film slides created by Andrei Mateescu between which Andrei Mateescu inserted one of his own slides. Identity, authorship and hierarchy are some of the notions that come to mind, these being inherently themes when working with or integrating archives in artistic works and contexts. But who shows who, what are the power dynamics, how does identity manifest in working with a family archive?