The Open Window Art Gallery is proud to present "Family Album" - an exhibition of paintings by Karin Preller from 15 August to 1 September 2001.
In these works painting is as much the subject as the chosen iconography (the family photograph). "I came increasingly to realize that there might, at this specific moment in time, be something strange and disconcerting about the labour and skill involved in creating images which could just as easily have been achieved by means of any number of new images technologies. Part of the intention is that the viewer might, upon initially viewing the works, perceive them as being enlarged family photographs/snapshots. Only on closer examination will the labour or craft necessary to create this initial perception be noticeable." The paintings (clearly derivative from photographs) are all images of her own family, taken during the 1950`s and 60`s. But the very familiarity of the images can result in issues other than her own personal concern coming into play.
Memories often lie in inanimate objects, poses, gestures – details which many would recognize and which would act as catalyst for that shock of recognition which alters the initial perception of the image – and which could result in personal memory becoming collective. Family photographs, while seemingly mere recordings of events in a family's history, ultimately operate in the same way as any representation. It blanks out what is not represented, and, in so doing, perpetuates myths about what is represented. Photography is never innocent. It is constituted and shaped by the conventions and rules of, in this case, the institution of the family. We compose photographs and project ourselves in terms of a preconceived idea of familial relations. In this sense the family album is always about the family ‘romance' and not about actualities.