Juliana Zepka is a French-Brazilian artist. She lives and works in Paris.

Her work explores the spectral and memorial dimensions of the image and the archive in the context of their policies of reproduction, digitalisation and restitution. In 2022, after finishing her degree at the Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam), she wrote a manifesto on the anarchive as keystone of her artistic research: the study of the archive through its blank pages, through the invisible, the fictional, the anonymous, the forgotten. She also works on request to create visual content (graphics, web design, video) for artists, cultural institutions and associations.

Family Portrait

Work in progress

Video, archival images, voice-over

3 minutes

“Last summer, my mother unpacked a box of family pictures on her kitchen table and I started wondering why family pictures are always stored into boxes. Like some classified affair. While going through those faces I didn’t know and these landscapes that did not exist anymore, I started building up stories about how things could have happened for those who were not here anymore to tell them the way they were.”

Family Portrait is a reflection on the status of family photography as an attempt to preserve what has disappeared. Personal archives and archives of anonymous amateurs are blended together and complement each other in a narrative that raises fantasy and a strange feeling of nostalgia for moments lived by others before us. Rarely reproduced after being shot, family photographs become unique and precious. We value them for their materiality, their traces and marks that remind us of the effect of time on what remains of the fragments of intimate and collective histories.