janet grau

I Spy (Ich sehe etwas, was du nicht siehst)

I Spy (Ich sehe etwas, was du nicht siehst)

Staged photography, 2011

It’s a late summer afternoon, and we have a plan. Everyone’s out for the afternoon, and now we’ve got the place to ourselves: the apartment in the Oberlausitz, which the family has been renting for nearly half a century now. Full of stuff, full of secrets, full of places to hide. We explore, we document, we giggle and work quickly. We want to hold onto this moment – our time together, our project, our game: I Spy.

After our activities in her grandparents’ apartment, Emma B. and I showed the photos to several family members and asked them to tell us what they saw in each picture. To Emma’s amazement and delight, most of her relatives didn’t realize that anything was different than usual (that is to say that Emma was hiding in each room/image): they saw the rooms as they have always experienced them.

Naturally, the nine different observations of each photograph are quite subjective: they’re full of memories, emotions, excuses and insinuations. Thus, they go beyond what is visible, opening up further dimensions of these private spaces for the viewer.

6 inkjet prints mounted on DiBond, each 60 x 40 cm, and 6 text panels (printed on aluminum), each 14 x 20 cm.

Created in collaboration with Emma B. for the exhibition Folge der Generationen, Motorenhalle. Projektzentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Dresden.

Many thanks to the family members who participated.

I Spy (Ich sehe etwas, was du nicht siehst)
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