Family Reflections (2010/2011)
I am interested in people, especially in those individuals who are emotionally close to me. I explore the physical and mental vulnerability of the members of my family in order to understand more about them. I look for personal and subjective interpretations of the realities constructed in my imagination, as I believe that when the experience belonging to someone else is filtered by our memory, it becomes our own.
I do not have many memories of my childhood. The death of my father when I was two was a fundamental event in my life. I have always wanted to understand some passages of the past that I have never lived. In our family pictures, I saw strange places and people that I couldn’t recognize. These images symbolise my memories – unknown and familiar at the same time.
In Family Reflections, I take pictures of myself in places vaguely reminding those that I have seen in our family photographs, and I try to reaffirm my existence and identity in this way. At the same time, each of these images defines one basic concept of our ideology – the roots, virility as a symbol of authority, glorification of maternity, obsession with death, or the sacred character of some objects.
Solitude turns into a paradox when it is shared. Words get dissolved – incomplete, fragile… slightly dark, almost invisible. A minuscule thread that links me with my relatives and makes me search for something that could explain why we are so similar in our intimacy.
ALFONSO ALMENDROS JAÉN
born in 1981 in Petrer (Spain), lives in Helsinki (Finland)
Alfonso Almendros Jaén is a graduate of History of Art. He also studied Artistic Photography at E.A.S.D. Valencia and Photography at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design of Budapest.
All his photographic works contain an autobiographical component – the artist is the main character in several of his pictures and chooses to work on topics which are inspired by his own experiences that need a deeper and intense reflection.
He is interested in the conceptual binomial formed by the passage of time and the death and the innate faculty of photography to became an intersection between the momentary and the constant. The metaphor and symbolic significances are elements of vital importance in Almendros’ work. The descontextualization of objects and the intervention in the photographed space are used to create a symbolic language that must be understood in an intuitive way.
Alfonso Almendros Jaén’s works have been presented in numerous individual and group exhibitions, e.g. in the “Open Galerias” art fair at the Contemporary Art Center Las Cigarreras (Alicante/Spain), in the Auditorum Benjamin Palencia (Albacete/Spain) or in the in the Spanish gallery E.A.S.D (Valencia/Spain).