Reproduction of family part 1

This the first chapter in an ongoing narrative  about photography, family  histories and migration. Using text, video and photographic images by and from  the Blokland family, this installation examines the role of photography as a renegotiation and a conceptualization of  their identity and heritage. The work displays portraits of a total of seven people from  Sara Blokland’s family. A family rooted in both Dutch and Surinamese histories and culture. The portraits are reproduced on mediums like books and objects for daily rituals, like tableware. Many of the portraits depict uncomfortable moments in the lives of family members. A photo of Blokland’s  sister with a toy gun, alongside a picture of her brother as a soldier in the Surinamese army in the 1980s, a self-portrait during an allergic skin reaction and the reaction of  her seven-year-old niece, who is photographed while looking anxious and shy towards the camera. Depicted on cups and plates, they are reduced to seemingly decorative objects on one hand, but on the other hand, they represent ‘a collection of individuals who give the object ‘value’. Like images on tableware of members of the royal family. The tableware is placed on a collection of books about exotic houseplants and tropical food. Narrated through the lens of exoticism, decoration, and unfamiliar flavors, as often seen in colonial museums. The work is placed in a vitrine covered with glas, which is part of the installation. The work delves into the ambiguity of power dynamics and the inherent complexity of representation and display.
Installation:  ceramics and photography
80 x 250 x 70 cm
2007