Research – Tina Enghoff: Possible Relatives

Tina Enghoff’s Possible relatives appears to focus on what is left behind after someone dies. The images feel forlorn and I get a sense of something missing, it is interesting as you look through the images and wonder about the stories behind them. What were the stains? Why are they there? Why is the chair left upturned and the drawers open? Some images look more orderly, like the person expected to return. Some show that they were perhaps neglected or in a temporary state. It does make you think about what you leave behind and how the small personal things that are intrinsic to a person can seem so meaningless once they are gone.

The intro on her website states:

Possible Relatives is a project about rejection, loneliness and invisibility –about the poverty of social contact in our otherwise economically developed welfare system. (Accessed 10.07.2017)

This really does connect with the images I have taken and my overall message. This person was socially rejected, and struggled with loneliness, they had been reaching out for at least a year and may well have felt invisible to the outside world.

Her website into also has this interesting passage:

“ We who only see the empty rooms, know nothing about the people who have left them.” (Accessed 10.07.2017)

My flat was empty, the tenant had been moved on to supported accommodation where he would no longer feel lonely so I was the viewer of these empty rooms. I have never met the tenant and know only a little bit of his story however I felt that just by looking at his rooms and belongings I started to build a picture of him and his obsessions. (Accessed 10.07.2017)

In retrospect I realise that I have taken similar images to Tina Enghoff’s above, I also photographed the sofa and I tried to capture a jacket hanging up. I liked the way it added the person / human element to the empty space. The jacket is obvious but I liked to show the dent in the sofa and the space his cat may have snuck into. In Tina Enghoffs image she is portraying the ‘missing’ person, the person that has died , my images are to prove that a person lived here and how he lived, but as he has moved on I guess this is still very much about his past.

I like how in the second image I have captured his jacket reflected in the mirror suggesting his presence. What seems odd in this image is the bottle of spray cleaner on the floor? The flat was by no means clean , so what on earth did he use this for?

What is interesting is after viewing Possible Relatives I looked at some of her other work and saw that in her series entitled Dogwalk Tina Enghoff takes a mixture of images from both the walk and objects found on the walk re-photographed in a clinical way which is similar to the idea I want to explore of objects taken away from the flat.




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