Beer O'clock Talk
with Alba Zari and Hollie Fernando
Saturday 8th June from 6:30pm @Space Studios - FREE entry
Our Beer O'clock Talks are designed to offer a platform for photographers to present and share their most recent productions with our audience. The brief talk of about 40 minutes is followed by a Q&A session with the public.
Alba and Hollie couldn’t have a more different approach to photography and yet their personal stories bring the two works together. Alba’s quest to find her biological father and Hollie’s portrayal of her 12 years old brother are both ultimately a reflection into the photographers intimacy and their outlook into the “familiar”. Zari and Fernando will present their work for about 20 minutes each and after it they will be taking questions from the audience.
“The Y” by Alba Zari
Every woman inherits two X chromosomes, one of which can be paternal.
Alba Zari uses the medium of photography as a visual method of investigation writing self-analysis notes to research the father that she never met. The missing Y.
Zari interprets photography as the poetic of her research. She documents with scientific rigor and in real time through specific photographic languages. She has a few clues of her father: his name, the Iraqi nationality and his work in the Emirates Airlines.
Raised in Bangkok she founds out at 25 years old that she doesn't have the same Thai blood like her brother. She studies with the physiognomy method her family album to identify the features that do not belong to the maternal genetic code and that for the process of exclusion could be traces of her father. She did the DNA test of her ancestral origins. She collects every official document and detects an American legal father, Zari will contact him and reach him. At last she points the lens on her self to reconstruct, from the features of her face, the 3D avatar of her father. Now she can immagine her father, decides to make him live on line and research him with the visual identification of social network.
Alba uses the photographic medium as an analytical investigation and artistic language with which she overcomes the lacuna of the Y and she accepts the absence.
text by Francesca Seravalle
“12” by Hollie Fernando
‘12’ is a year-long photographic portrait of Fernando’s younger brother Max, that documents the last year of his pre-adolescence. The project was realised whilst she was away on a family holiday with the absence of her younger sister, and usual muse, Jess. This led to Hollie turning her lens to Max, opening up a whole new chapter to their relationship.
Fernando spent the year documenting Max and parts of his life that he considered important at that moment in time. About three quarters of the way through, however, Hollie came to realise that the project was as much about herself as it was about Max: “Due to the fact I already live in London and it being financially sensible at this point when saving/building up a name for myself, I still live at my parent’s home in the attic conversion. I see my brother every day and we have an extremely close relationship, even with the 13-year age gap (same parents, just a nice surprise), and have pretty much the same personality traits. We eat together, watch Netflix series together and hang out on the weekends when we’re both at home. I understand that this is a very unusual position for the average 26-year-old and am very aware that the situation has in turn made me reflect on my little brother in this way."
Battling thoughts about her situation not being ’normal’ and wondering if she’s taken the right path all end up taking her to the same one place though, which is a deep aching nostalgia for her own childhood: “I desperately wish I could be 12 again. My own memories of myself at 12 are quite fuzzy and this makes me sad, but I know that it’s a reason why I connected with these photographs so much. So, as much as this project is a documentation of my brother’s last year before becoming a ‘teen’, it has also been a reflection of my own quarter-life-existential-crisis. By documenting his pre-adolescence I am perhaps in some way making up for not being able to preserve my own."