ObjectSubject combines visual and descriptive storytelling of personal relationships through object biographies.
The objects, often regarded as touchstones of past relationships, act as agents of shared experience now found at the improbable intersection of absence and presence. Material histories deposit into memory the small dramas of everyday lives and act as tangible placeholders for a time, place, or event that would otherwise exist only in the abstract.
Material histories reflect temporal continuity—with the object assuming the role of representative—such that a personal narrative of the past is easily reconstructed. Often, they propose their own surrogate relationship and serve to explore our understanding of the universal human experience of attachment to people and things.
The forty-eight objects were collected, photographed, and documented over a two-year period.
While the contributors are anonymous, their gender is identified in the exhibition companion book of
object-images and subject-stories.
" When the Cossacks rode on to the family farm in Russia, they hung my grandfather by his neck from a tree, and shot him in the face. After they rode off, my grandmother cut him down, still alive, loaded him into a wagon and drove to the next town. The doctor there removed the bullet from my grandfather’s tongue. Within a decade the entire extended family had emigrated to Canada. My grandfather was killed by a drunk driver a few years later, and my father, as a young man, was tasked with raising his four siblings and providing for his mother. When I took possession of the bullet, I was able then to see my dad as a son who idolized a man he missed terribly, and was able to better understand the pains of his difficult life."
objectsubject | Material Histories
SoftCover // 100pp // Published in Canada by truth and beauty press © 2016 // $40.
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