Familiar Portraits Installation, 2007
One way of acquiring an immediate sense of ownership to space, person and moment you are living in life is the simple action of taking a picture of it. A way to review our tendencies, impulses or compulsions is by going in retrospect and examining our past approaches. In Familiar Portraits, Edra Soto examines the ordinary process of taking pictures of things we love; our pets, our babies, possessions, etc. and project a view on how we reclaim things in life; our sense of ownership. For this sociological approach, the artist invited a group of friends and family to participate in this visual survey. Soto asked them to donate pictures they have taken of their beloved ones (pets, babies, etc). All their contributions constitute her personal narrative of what "familiar" means. Familiar Portraits is presented as an installation (narrow space defined by two walls inside the gallery space) displaying a series of photo collections interrelated by the artist. Some of the photographs are perceptive and others are fictional representation. The fictional representations are digital manipulations created by the artist and are integral to the narrative of this project. In Familiar Portraits, Soto utilize hierarchical classifications, proportions and sets to create visual and organizational schemes. Soto's interest in classic subjects like portraits, still lifes and landscapes have led her to a personal questioning about the social concept of family, extended families, the people or animals we live with, who we love and why.