The visual representation of the family is a concept that we are all familiar with either as the observer or the subject. As you rummage through old family albums, infantile drawings or virtual albums online, it becomes apparent that the compulsion to document one’s own family is instilled in us at the very beginning of our lives, usually as the subject being documented. In this way, we begin our own families and friendships, and contribute to and continue this tradition. The artists in Family Ties have chosen the family portrait as the starting point for creating new works that challenge our physical, emotional and conceptual perception of how families and single family members are represented.
Iris Häussler’s work consists of drawings traced from family photographs collected in flea markets. These works subtlety lend themselves to Häussler’s own personal story, but by only tracing the silhouettes of other families, and creating fictional narratives, Häussler is able to create a distance between herself and the work, allowing a stream of mysterious histories and identities emerge.