"The tree is alive within me. I am the tree. I am my entire family." (Alejandro Jodorowsky)

My work revolves around rethinking family and personal memory.

I grew up in a house where there were many portraits and objects that belonged to my family for generations, and that chronicle the path taken by my ancestors; but as in all history, I have been finding empty spaces that I complement with my own images and artistic quest.

As a child I looked at the photographs and played with them. If I didn’t know the names of the characters, I invented them. I remember watching them for hours, and feeling that they were watching me back. And so I went, generating a strange dialogue that eventually began to draw analogies between my ancestors and myself.

Eventually this interest grew deeper and deeper and led me to further investigation, not only names, but also personal stories that I collected during my visits to relatives in Peru, Chile and Germany.

Genealogy and family history can be transmitted consciously and voluntarily to descendants, but there is still "something" which is unconsciously transmitted through the generations. That "something" could be defined as a cluster of memories, stories and tendencies that supercede time and space and remain in all the memory levels of being.

I believe we are a product of all those people who came before us, as if many beings dwell within us and would like us to hear their voices.

There is a quotation from Nietzsche that says: "One is much more the child of one's four grandparents than of one's two parents". This is undoubtedly due to the fact that when we are born, our parents have usually not yet refined their own personality. The typological seeds of our grandparents ripen in us, those of our parents, in our children, he says.

In this series called "Transgeneration," photography is the product of a performance in which I become different men and women of my family throughout history; I recreate a moment lived by an ancestor using my body as a vehicle; in order to accomplish this, I use costumes and characterization, I let my hair or beard grow, I shave; I perform all the necessary acts in order to appear as close as possible to the character I am going to play.

This is how I'm transformed by my photographs and possessed by the spirits of the distant past.

 

Christian Fuchs (Lima, 1979) is a photographer and visual artist living and working in Lima, Peru. His interest revolves around rethinking and reinvention of personal memory. After studying photography at Centro de la Imagen in Lima, his first solo exhibition Ahnensonne opened in 2009 at Gallery 80m2 in Lima. His second solo show Das Land der Erinnerungen (Land of Memories) opened at the Galería Corriente Alterna Arte y Diseño in Lima in August 2011.

He has participated in several group exhibitions including the Häuserträume für Kinder auction in Hamburg in 2012, organized by Sotheby's. He is currently a member of the La Encomienda project which has toured San Jose de Costa Rica at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Jacob Karpio Gallery; ArtBo 2012 in Bogota, Colombia; Scope Miami (2012); Art Lima (2013); the Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago de Chile (2014); and the Memorial of Latin America in Sao Paulo, Brazil (2015).