Alexander Reichstein: The Nameless Family Album

A series of large scale transparent glowing "photos", which invite visitors to wander among them.

The "Nameless Family Album" installation consists of over 60 artworks in which the characters from old photos are traced with a thin line. These drawings are large and float in space with no plane or base. The artworks are hung leaving space for visitors to walk between them. The tracing line glows blue, allowing the observer to see through the image. The facial features of the characters are missing, leaving merely an outline, the oval of a face. The image is devoid of unnecessary details, allowing everyone to recall their own long-gone relatives. Visitors appear to be within a photo album, surrounded by personages from the past. 

The artworks are welded from 3-4 mm thick steel wire. Special primer prevents the steel from corroding and a unique coating makes the wire glow in ultraviolet light. The aural background made by Petri Laakso adds to the ambience. The artworks are quite robust and may be hung inside or outside, in a park, an old city quarter, or museum hall. The space should be very dark and at least 3,5 metres in height. Artworks should be hung on parallel wires. In total, the work consists of 12-16 layers of transparent pictures hanging from different heights. 

Light sources, materials and equipment used:
UV-lights 30W and 10W.

Dimensions of the work, approximately: 
61 artworks need space appr. 25 x 7 x 3,5 m with entrance on the short side.

Electricity consumption:
Standard mains current (10A/16A).

Does the artwork use sound?
Ambient sound.

Support and other structures:
The work needs support structures, hanging points, or similar.

Structures, hardware or other equipment needed from the client:
The artworks have to be hung on 12-16 parallel wires, at least 3,2 m high. Besides that, appr. 10 UV lamps hgave to be mounted on the same height.

Minimum height of the space:
3 m

Minimum square meters of the space:
140 m2

Requirements for the space: darkness, temperature, colouring (light / dark / specific colour / other) etc.:
Absolute darkness, any white walls or other objects have to be covered.

Building time and people required (estimate):
1-2 helpers for 3-4 days (mounting), 1 day (dismantling).

Artist's presence:
Artist or their representative must be present during building.

Seen before at:
Tuntematon perhealbumi / The Nameless Family Album, Helsinki City Museum, 2024


BLAF Best of Light Art in Finland
is hosted by
Finnish Light Art Society FLASH

Producer: Annukka Ketola
+358 40 735 3972

Mia Kivinen /
Anna Björklund /

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