Traces

Weronika Gesicka

2015 - 2017

Poland

Traces are, by definition, signs or evidence of some past thing. They are a proof of presence. Confirmation of participation. Examples of such traces are photographs, which document the existence of people, situations, moments. They are like engrams that come about through certain stimuli and experiences.

This project is based on vintage photographs purchased from an image bank. They mostly came from American archives from the 1950s and 1960s. Family scenes, holiday souvenirs, everyday life – all of that suspended anywhere between truth and fiction. It is hard to figure out whether the images were taken spontaneously or were entirely staged. We know nothing of the actual relationships between people in the photographs; we can only guess how much truth is in their gestures and gazes. Who are, or were, these individuals? Are they actors playing happy families, or real people whose photos were put up for sale by the image bank? Some are present in the pictures, while others are vanishing, but they always leave a trace. The images, modified in various ways, are wrapped in new context: our recollections of these people and situations are transformed and blur gradually.

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