Manon Mikolaitis

Saudade, 2017

Saudade is an investigation into the archetypal family album and its function as a personal archive and container of family history and narratives. Derived from the Portuguese language, Saudade is an expression describing ‘the presence of absence’, evoking a vague desire for something other than the present or perhaps something that has never occurred. Through the use of found family photographs and Super 8 film footage, Saudade questions our capacity as humans to construct fictional narratives, not only from our own photographs, but how we can use those of stranger’s in lieu of our own to create stories relating to our own memories or entirely fictional ones. Saudade addresses the belief that memory does not reside in a photograph, so much as it is produced by it. Photographs have the capacity to create, interfere with, and trouble the memories we hold as individuals. They can lend shape to personal stories and produce alternate realities that may sometimes be synchronised but at other times askew.