Book’s foreword (the Book is not published yet, this will be a triology to publish until the end of 2017)
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.
Fábio Miguel Roque (b. 1985) photographer, publishers and curator. Born in Lisbon and based in Sintra, Portugal. On his work we can notice a clear duality between documentary photography and also intimate and personal projects. He makes the big part on his studies on I.P.F. (Portuguese Institute of Photography) between 2004 and 2007, and also several workshops in other portuguese institutions, like History of Contemporary Photography in Ar.Co.
He worked as a photojournalist at the beginning of his career, but for several reasons, decided to focus on more concrete subjects. In the last years he made several solo and collective exhibitions both in Portugal and abroad in Places like US, Spain, Bulgaria, Poland and Germany. He was also shortlisted for some festival and awards, his projects are also in several publications from zines to books, between then “Hometown”, “South” and “I found fireflies in my dream, talking to a strange, drunk and dead man!”
In 2014 he starts the publishing house “The Unknown Books“, and since then published more then 50 zines and books; co-director of Preto Magazine, a magazine dedicated to strong black and white photogrpahy, that comes to life after the end of Preto Collective. He is also member of Latent Image Collective, since 2014.