Italian photographer Elena Capra’s Libro Di Famiglia (Family Book) tells a narrative of 40 years of married life. In combining still life and staged portraits of her parents she explores memory and nostalgia relatable to anyone who has spent decades together.
Quaint and common household items collected over a lifetime together are interspersed with abstract portraits of Capra’s mother and father. A picture frame from a past family vacation, multicolored ties collected on a hanger, an understated bedroom – in photographing these banal, every day objects, she creates a subtle portrait of those who own them, a married couple, and a metaphor for marriage.
Abstract portraits are positioned with no inherent connection to each other or the still life images. We see, for example, a woman with her back turned in a shower cap, a revolver placed gently on an unfolded handkerchief, and a man standing with a suitcase at his feet. These images are not meant to accurately portray the lives of the subjects, but rather, in being presented with no context conjure new life and meaning to outside observers.
All images © Elena Capra