Informers (2004)

Transcription of Reg Image of Frank Transcription of Peter
Image of Reg Transcription of Frank Image of Peter

Three silver-gelatin photographs
Three text panels
Each panel framed individually
Overall dimensions: 34X52 inches

There is a Newfoundland tradition of retired fishermen making models of churches and schooners. Recently Reg Feltham, Frank Mullett, and Peter Picco have expanded this tradition by making models of entire communities. However, the communities they depict no longer exist, having been abandoned as a result of government resettlement programs of the 1950s and '60s. Thus the models were created largely from memory, making them not so much objective records as subjective depictions reflecting all the biases and distortions that memory imposes.

Informers consists of photographic portraits of Reg, Frank, and Peter with their models, and transcriptions of the spoken memories they associate with the various buildings and geographical features depicted. Memories are depicted visually insofar as they were used to guide the construction of the models (or to inform them, in the Aristotlean sense of 'inform'). These three-dimensional depictions are then repeated in the two-dimensional photographic images themselves. At the same time, memories are represented discursively as the model-makers relate their memories for my tape recorder, representations that are then repeated in the displayed transcriptions.

Informers thus recognizes the work of these model-makers, and at the same time explores the very different ways in which pictorial and discursive forms of representation deal with the topic of memory.

installation at the Dorsky Gallery

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