Art Paper Editions, 2020. Edition of 500 copies. Hardcover, 225 x 300 mm, 178 pp., 395 illustrations. Photographs by Diana Tamane. Text by Martin Germann (English). Design by Jurgen Maelfeyt.
Winner of the Author Book Award 2020 Les Rencontres D'Arles
If we look briefly at what makes good art, it is of course to work with what is in front of us. Inventions are good, but if the point of escape into the unknown is the known, even better. Certainly nothing is more readily available than one’s own family. It is a matrix we will never leave, and if we escape it, we inevitably escape in relation to it. Diana worked with the image material her family generated on many formal and technical layers, visually formulating such larger questions as: who sees whom in which way, and smaller questions, such as: What is one doing when the camera is turned off? To what extent is a skin really our last boundary, and what happens when one dies? Diana exploits every possible representation of (her) family, and transforms it with a sharp eye into an art that is entirely its own. She uses the whole repertoire of the contemporary photo-filmic infrastructure, from the mobile phone to the memory stick of her father’s product palette from the last 10 years, to the dashcam of her truck-driving mother, to email, also in order to fulfill yet subvert every possible cliché about the East one could imagine. We should not forget the proper art historical knowledge sleeping behind her approach, which she luckily applies in a very liberating, un-academic and free manner. You wouldn’t need a reference with the simple function of affirming the position of her work, as it is with a lot of art these days. In the end, Diana uses something as personal as family to say something public, close to a narration on something as large as the European transformations that took place during the last 30 years.