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'Guest room'

            Inês Marinho 

These photos record impulsive performances within a specific deliberate composition allowing for both the carefully planned and the accidental, some exposing an affinity to ghost stories and haunted house tales.

The house in which I took these photographs is a place that tell stories, my mother’s, grandmother’s, even my grandfather’s and my great grandmother’s, who I have only met through stories. This house is built after memories. In this house I am confronted with my family’s memory, and with my own history.

Stories have been shared in the family. How mom’s grandma had lived with Sonia and Robert Delaunay when they lived in our hometown, and socialised with their painter friends, even considered part of the family. The Delaunays had wanted her to move to Spain with them, but the first war was on, there was an ambient of mistrust and fear in Portugal. When my great grandmother Beatriz was crossing the northern border with Delaunay’s luggage, she was accused of working for spies and arrested.

This event from a distant past, that happened to my great grandmother — someone I never met, feels very present to me. I even feel a kind of grief for my great grandma, I wished she had had that eventful life, even knowing, at the same time, that if it wasn’t for that erroneous occurrence at the border I wouldn’t be experiencing life.

This series is a family narrative, taken place in my grandparents house, commissioned by my grandfather and built in the same street where his mother, my great grandmother Beatriz, once modelled and cooked for the Delaunays.

Throughout the process of staging photos of me and my mother in her childhood home, I seek to reveal their symbolic and conventional qualities. I work with the materiality of photography, the limitations and fragility of the medium to tell and perceive a family trauma. I am re-interpreting something that has not been photographed.

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