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Mirelle Thijsen:

But tell me, why are you, being yourself a private collector of amateur photography and photo albums, so much interested in the photographic memories of other people?

 Erik Kessels:

There are a number of reasons: one thing I find interesting is the typology you discover in this genre. In case you collect all albums of a specific family, the typology is the following: two people meet each other in the first album, in which the man photographs his girlfriend up close. They are totally in love with each other. The second album is a wedding album. The third is made at the time the first child is born. The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh album is a great mix of everything. What you see is chaos: the birth of a second and third child, vacations, children’s parties. That sort of thing… The last album will be created when the children have left home. And both parents go on a holiday with each other again. In a way, it is a kind of remake of the first album.

Also the rituals and customs that people have, I find interesting. As well as the boring routine in such an album: pages with pictures of mountains that are totally non-descript. Which just indicate: look there is a mountain! I’m interested in errors, for they are amateur photographers of course. These people are just enthusiasts.


The long discussion about the work, books and influence of Christian Boltanski can be found here

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