Foreword by Irina Popova
Everybody has a family archive. Or at least – family history.
Some family histories are very well kept and preserved, but many of them get forgotten. In the book “Origin” by Fábio Miguel Roque family archive becomes something more than just a trace of forgotten family histories. It becomes an evidence of the time. Of about how the time changes the faces, events, – covers with mould something what once seemed important. If the book was trying to just tell us who these people were, how they looked, what they were doing and what they were proud of, probably it would only be worth staying in one family album in one unique copy, taken out the drawer in special occasions, and being shown to family members and close friends only.
The fact of being published transforms it into the generic history of human beings, a story about the time. Photography as a medium becomes the biggest topic of this story. Ruined emulsion, old Kodak stamps become the characters of the story, alongside with the people.
Handwriting and calligraphy form part of the visual story where the form of typographical representation exchanges the meaning. This handwriting can be understood in any language: it’s a smile of time about the temporality of human existence. The people, which once looked happy and contented with their lives, sunshine and other short-termed things, now look to us through the layers of transformation: sometimes the faces are covered with dust and scratches. Sometimes we see an inverted version of black-and-white, like if we looked on the film, dark faces with white eyes, alien creatures with no visible relation to us – just the prints of emulsion.
And as an archaeologist of the Egyptian mummies, a viewer of this book is supposed to look into the histories which never get him closer to the truth: who were these people and what happened to all them? Photography is the only answer to the question of life, that’s why it makes it the closest metaphor for death: everything what can be reflected paper and stored forever in a form of a print, may as easily disappear in the reality from the face of Earth. Everything what’s reflected on the photo, will never be the same. Including us.