Family Sequences (1980-1986 )

In Family Sequences, I use sequences of candid images to principally examine interpersonal family relationships. A small selection of images from 1980-1986 are posted on this page.

Family Sequences refers to snapshots in subject matter but differs in intent, style, and form. Typically, family snap shots highlight and celebrate ritual moments of domestic life, such as weddings, birthdays, and vacations. Snap shots are preferably positive and flattering. Family Sequences concern the mundane, neutral, and temporal moments of everyday life, in addition to ritual occasions. While people occasionally appear happy In Family Sequences they often look bored, tired, detached, and have divided attention. When ritual occasions are depicted, the intent is to question the ritual’s function and what actually occurs rather than simply to commemorate the close-knit happy family. In these photographs gender and generational roles are explored. In many, traditional stereotypical roles are evident such a Lill serving Mark coffee and Mark lifting a heavy turkey.

Until the advent of digital photography, family snap shots (especially those framed or displayed in family albums) usually included only the one “best” photo. I use sequences of images in order to emphasize continuing interaction and gestures over time and to demonstrate how actions come together and fall apart, not the “decisive moment” when all is in harmony. Still images (compared to moving images) allow gestures to be examined at length. 

In both the early and recent work, I draw on my experiences to put family life into a social context. With gentle humor and without didacticism, I point out inconsistencies, faults, and problematic behavior in our society from a social, cultural, and emotional point-of-view.

The individual photographs are 3 x 4 ½ inches —approximately snapshot size. The mounted sequences of 3 to 6 images vary from 9 x 20 ¾ to 9 x 37 ¼ inches. 

Click on thumbnail to see a larger image.