When I was younger, my mom and I would sit down on the living room floor and rummage through boxes of family pictures. We looked for portraits of my grandparents and other family members who lived far from us. I liked to ask questions about who everyone was, even if I already knew the answer. My mom always responded with, “No sé Arecis. No vivo de recuerdos.” (“I don’t know Arecis. I don’t live based off memories.”) Once we chose the pictures we liked, we would cut them out and paste them onto a family picture of me and my parents. It was always noticeable when someone was inserted into the image. The floating heads or missing arms always made our interventions obvious, but to us the thought of being together was what mattered. These collages would become our family portraits.
Family images are often used to look back on special occasions. When looking at family pictures, we take what we see as fact. However, a lot of what we remember isn’t true. So much happens outside of what's shown in an image. That's why I enjoy creating my own. I chose to explore these topics by collaborating with my parents and younger brother to composite and photograph what we hope we won’t forget. The process of making them is a mixture of desire and playfulness. In post-production I insert myself in a way where I can communicate through time and space.