In exploring the nature of family, identity, and memory, I want to reconstruct the personal and private and restructure the narrative as staged events both lived and fictionalized. In using family snapshots, I can manipulate the events and times in which they were taken and create an alternate frozen moment within the frame of the assemblage. I use photographs that can be manipulated, re-fabricated, cut and pasted, casting them into wood, metal, paper, and glass to create boxed dioramas of small moments of time. I combine text and image to augment the personal and hidden secrets within. Each photograph can reveal, conceal, disguise, or create another alternate fiction. The snapshots of family members taken out of context are biographical and pseudo-biographical time elements that create symbolic references within a fictive narrative. The interpretation of re-constructed images is based on the personal knowledge or precepts that a viewer is privy to. In these instances, however, the viewer can share in the narrative by virtue of their own recalled snapshot mementos and understanding of them. There are universal moments that create the perceived appearance of differences. There are universal moments that transcend cultural boundaries. it is the absence of the presence of African American in the mainstream lexicon of images that creates the perceived appearance of differences. I want the viewer to picture themselves within the narrative construct and understand the secrets they conceal and reveal.
Dolores R. Gray