Thesis Work

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Although there are no classes during the summer term, work continues.  I have been busy working on my thesis topic: first to collect, then to make sense.  I am currently in the collection phase.   

My initial topic was to document my father’s move from Calgary to Toronto.  This line of exploration continues, even though my father suddenly passed away, by documenting the move of his surrogates:  his possessions.  Continuing with the storyline is consistent with my primary principle: to let the story unfold as it may.

In going through his possessions, I have come across a collection of letters written by his brother while in the US Cavalry from 1943 to 1945, and a manuscript written by my father’s cousin, recording their experience in Germany up to the end of the Second War.  Both of these present themselves as interesting alternative works.  I will explore these paths over the coming weeks to determine their role in the main storyline, if any.  

As for that main storyline, exploring his surrogates, takes me down the path of what is sometimes referred to as Residue Photography; that is exploring what persists of the “real” after it is gone.  The form of such manifestations are quite numerous and include both physical and intangible elements.  For a person, the obvious artifact is the body.  But I have his possessions, and so now I am exploring what they can tell me.  

Statuary StandHand carved oak wood plant or statuary stand. Cherub playing trumpet, which curves over shoulder into base for item. Ornate hand carved scroll feet. Appears to be one piece of wood. From Germany. Likely one of a kind. 
                    — Brian Lehman Evaluations Inc.
Front View

Front View

Side View

Side View

This stand was one of my father’s possessions.  There are several attributes one might contemplate, including: the construction material and what it symbolizes; the purpose or function of the work; the rationale for having such a piece; the aesthetics of it.  Less obvious, is this piece belonged to my father’s parents, which is to say it has been in the family for a long time.  80-90 years is not unreasonable.  


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