“For five years now, I have been working exclusively with archive images. I use them to create fictions illustrating the dynamics and mysteries of family relations”, Liz Alert tells us. This 54-year-old American artist discovered the 8th art while she was studying at the University of Michigan. Passionate since her childhood about family albums, she never stops developing a collection of pictures that allows her to build series as retro as they are unique. “These photos are like starting points that let me start over my own story”, she says.
This is how Family Fiction came into being. “My husband gave me some pictures, bought on eBay, of a couple kissing, and a woman doing archery. I immediately saw the potential of such images”, she remembers. A series of sometimes funny, sometimes poetic diptychs, Family Fiction merges the stories of a dozen people, creating new narrative arcs. A unique way to rewrite our memories.
A journey into the collective imagination
Taken during the 1950’s and 1960’s, the photographies collected by Liz Albert rethink women’s place in society. Inspired by own experience as a mother and a woman, the artist shows a strong female presence. “The themes I particularly like are characters that disregard conventions, the disillusioned relationships between men and women and loneliness,” says the photographer. A journey into the collective imagination that reinvents the codes of the past, and invites the viewer to invent his or her own story. Because although many fictions come to Liz Albert, her creations remain open to interpretation. By borrowing fragments of anonymous people’s lives, she offers a personal reading; a story that everyone can modulate to their own taste. “A sort of journey into the subconscious, in which my characters explore their thoughts and desires,” she concludes.
© Liz Albert