Mortality often stirs up family issues both philosophical and practical. The philosophical usually deals with family dynamics, how one has lived their life, successes, failures and regrets. Practical issues are almost always money, possessions and real estate. In my family, these two categories are often the same, or at least interrelated. Death as a subject of conversation is not controversial to my parents. The controversy is hidden in that they will have to part with their possessions. Parting with their material possessions has layers or conflict for them. Closest to the surface is posession, beneath that layer reveals, to what degree their three kids developed as collectors, or how much of them will we keep after they are gone. The third layer is complicated, more public; the idea of an estate auction would cause anxiety with my mother, but would excite my father to no end. To him, it’s an unfolding drama, riddled with sadness, excitement and a chance to display one’s aesthetic choices.
My family has always expressed themselves with the objects. Both of my parents went to art school; my father was a graphic designer and my mother created several handmade toy companies. Their collection range from match strikers, to tin toys, to rolls of unused felt. Nothing is ever sold, but everything has value. These objects have played an important roll in my life, by shaping my sense of humor, aesthetic, and my interest in history. I have never needed to own all of these objects, I have discovered photographing them has created a new kind of ownership, attempting to subvert nostalgia. Personally the work is a memorial, but I believe the images are accessible to a larger audience. Publicly the pictures function in the realm of beauty, mystery, and an innate sense of suspended animation.