The Principle of the Familiar
Project info

The Principle of the Familiar
(2015-2016)

The family archive; a multifaceted image memory bank, added to and curated by family members over multiple generations: mimetic repetitions of those that have come before us. Some archives continue to grow whilst others fade and gather dust, sometimes forgotten, sometimes rediscovered. They act as aids in the familiar storytelling of the past. Generational passing’s on of tales of heritage and culture, curated as photographic memento’s of families, frozen along the linear flow of time.

Within this body of work Houghton analyses the concept of the family archive. She pays homage to the objects left behind containing the fragmented narrative of the family by deconstructing an inherited archive created during the 1970’s – 2000’s. She re-witnesses the material through the original recording devices they we captured on. Watching through a variety of screens, she photographs events as they unfold. The result is the curation of a voyeuristic meta-album, juxtaposed against the objects that tell their story.

During this process Houghton explores the representation of time and the adaptation of memory within the context of the family album. Combining video and photography she expands on the various gazes within the archives creation, questioning the content and examining the collective and individual viewing process of a family archive.

The work aims to highlight the visual fragmentation of the places, memories and individuals of our past that the family archive affords us. These memories are recorded, adapted and accessed differently at various stages through out our lifetime. Through this work Houghton invites us to question the clarity and authorship of the recording of our personal histories and to gain control by re-curating the stories they tell.