Grease.

No pictures today, just words.  I’ve been contemplating a sort of collaborative project with my father that will include lots of grease.  The ball has finally begun rolling and I am hoping to share process shots by this weekend.  I realize how vague all of that sounds, but the point of this particular post is not to share images, but ideas.  So here is what I’ve been thinking.

  1. What does it mean to start something and then send it to someone to finish.  In the case of this project I will be printing a photograph in grease and then sending it via mail for my father to use as a shop rag.  He will then send them back in whatever condition they’re in.  My goal is to send him something beautiful, let him destroy them and then turn them into something beautiful once more.  I like the idea that we both have a hand in making this, mine being very precise and calculated and his being left entirely up to chance.
  2. The image is of him holding me as a baby in his 55 chevy.  Here is the significance of that: he’s had this car since 1984 (thats thirty years), it’s the first car I ever rode in, it was wrecked and pushed into our barn before I can remember, three summers ago (after years of me begging his to get it running again) I helped him push it out of our barn.  Pushing it out of that barn is where my actual memories of this car start, but it’s impact on my life goes back further.  We’ve been working in the garage together my whole life; it is crazy to think that he’s had this vehicle longer than he’s had me and nearly as long as he’s been married.  This project is acting as a way for me to be there helping him without physically being present.
  3. He will essentially be creating his own self-portrait with one instruction from me: use the shop rags.  I have given him the tools to create a piece about our relationship and putting the creative control in his court.  I am fascinated that I’ve found a way facilitate the capturing of a memory/moment in time without actually being there.  The fact is, that with photography, you have to be in a specific location to take a specific image.  I’ve found the loophole by recording a specific time and event through movement and mark making.
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