This book serves as one scenario of how an open adoption can go and is the product of a ten month introspection as well as my attempt to make something tangible to an experience of mine that I was too young to remember. These pages hold three individual accounts of the same story told by my parents that has to do with my adoption and each of their unique experiences. What first sparked my interest in using my adoption as the content to explore family and memory was the discovery of an old family photo album curating the first two years of my life. It contained photographs from before, during and after my adoption as well as a copy of my adoption papers. After opening it and turning to the first page, I felt completely stranger to the events the photographs were a document of. I had no emotional connections and I could only identify the people and places in them. This was strange to me and even made me feel a little guilty because of how life granting my adoptions was. From the driving force behind my project, in Larry Sultan’s, “Pictures from Home,” cover flap by Eric Hammel is an excellent statement of how looking at these family albums felt to me,
“... An arrangement of photographs that purports to be a documentary history is really an elaborate fiction.”
I became interested in their individual experiences and memory of my adoption and decided to try and capture them and bring them together and make one. I asked each of them to write me a letter telling me about my adoption as if for the first time and to include any specific memories they hold to it. I decided to organize all the materials I had gained into a family album of some sort. I felt this would be the best solution to bringing them together, but also decided, that since my family is not exactly average, to challenge the ideas of a traditional family album and create my own, designed and curated appropriately to the materials I had. Maybe this is my subconscious attempt to create a memory of my own.
The World They Photographed Published November 24, 2012