The Ritchie Family 2018-2020
12 color prints, framed, 80 × 100 cm; 32 color prints, unframed, 32 × 40 cm
Leipzig Academy of Fine Arts
Prof. Tina Bara
The Ritchie Family
In “The Ritchie Family,” we are confronted with a sensitive transformation of a social situation. Jana Ritchie, the oldest of three sisters, conducted a vivid social study of her own family with her cameras. The family, as is quickly revealed, consists of only women: the mother, Swenja, surrounded by Ina, Lilli, and Jana, the photographer. Swenja is presented as a single mother, and consequently as an emancipated woman—since the traditional ideal concept of a family still includes a husband and father. From the macro perspective, Ritchie’s project thus supplies a self-assured alternative to prevailing family constellations.
Seen as microstructures, the twelve family pictures and thirty-two individual portraits provide nuanced psychological profiles of each family member. While the positioning in groups of three or four provide unidealized glimpses of family dynamics and the family’s social milieu, the individual pictures highlight their idiosyncrasies and nuances of character. Conceived as a long-term study, “Familie Ritchie” has become an archive of family memory, in which the current status quo is continually rewritten and can be referred to and evaluated at any time as a potential time capsule.