An archive of colour slides was discarded a few feet away from my front door in Buenos Aires. I picked it up ignoring what there was in it. When I projected the slides, I discovered Porota. Her family and their particular way of representing themselves, halfway between traditional poses and photographical consciousness displayed throughout the collection. Not only was I marvelled at them, but I also could not help but question my presumptions about the relevance and value of the material: half biography, half forgotten memories. A kind of hybridity that defines vernacular photography once it is de- or re-contextualized.
After many years of going through the material and letting it rest intermittently, 'Porota' became a collaboration project. Stage director and art director Sergio Calvo helped me draw meaning out of those film frames once exposed in-camera and now projected right into the eyes of the audience. The uniqueness of the colour slide amplified the material relevance of keeping the projector in the room. In an attempt to refer to the original ritual of the slideshow, Sergio and I developed a text I performed as a narrator. In an attempt to speculate about another time, the ritual is reproduced as the experience of performing it perverts the ritual itself. Being shown to non-family members, the intention, function and privacy of the slideshow as a private device are altered. Even though a family history is mostly lost, the material holds enough of it for us to negotiate a new narrative, one that, as eloquent as it may be, cannot finalize an understanding of who these people are and what their lives were like.