Verena Jaekel

born in 1980, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
lives in Berlin, Germany

Neue Familienportraits – New Family Portraits (2005-2009)

The project Neue Familienportraits – New Family Portraits consists of a series of portraits that investigate, through the medium of photography, the issue of current new family constellations.

The genre of the family portrait derives from a long-standing pictorial tradition that has influenced our culture – images of the Holy Family, representations of leading aristocratic families or the photographic self-portrayal of the bourgeoisie are but a few examples. It is the intention of this portrait series, by tying in to this pictorial tradition, to highlight a new stage in social and cultural development. Borrowing from the style of conventional family photographs, these portraits aim not only to expand the traditionally defined concept of a family, but also to raise the awareness of our stereotyped, habitual perception of such images, and thus to stimulate reflection on the forms of representation employed in the medium of photography. Snapshot and photojournalistic techniques were consciously avoided, and anything attributing an exotic status to the subjects was also avoided. Instead, the subjective, emotional and functional aspects of familial relationships are the focus of this series. It is precisely the much-disputed ‘natural’ character of family members and their relationships to one another which these photographs aim to express, a character heightened by the constant tension brought about by the photographer’s artistic directions. This project, thus, links photographic conventions handed down over time to the current and relevant social issues of today.

<< back
Updates: Kamikaze