Getting To Know Me Getting To Know Dad

I asked my dad a question about his Nikon F and he said: “You don’t know me how I was before.” I often tell people my dad “used to be a photographer.” Our darkroom transformed into a storage area after his faulty hip replacement. I needed to understand what he meant by “who he was before.” I started sifting through his 4x5 negatives, astonished by his clarity, depth, contrast, and all the makings of a perfect negative that I always hope to achieve. Within the first few moments of exploration I realized that we see the world the same way.

For as long as I can remember I’ve seen him as a disabled father.  Until now I have felt a disconnect to him as a person. Medication strips him from his being, his personality, and ability to articulate. Being in school and away from his home, my childhood house has become “my parents’ house.” This transition has brought me clarity. His presence, however, has been far more intense from miles away than it ever was when I was a child.

Returning to my parents’ house I feel like a researcher, uncovering pieces of his past under piles of half finished projects, stuffed animals, and my parents’ wedding china. I snapped a picture and it has become an iSpy game to see what I could recognize...a 4x5 film carrier, an enlarger, dozens of unopened boxes of Ilford paper, all the things I have learned to use as an undergrad.

I am finding out who he is. I am exploring his process, the content in his photographs, and his past life that I don’t know. I am discovering why I am a photographer. I am drawing connections between his traditional modernist landscapes where he found home, to the way I see the infrastructure inform the cityscape. I am curating our images as one body of work to generate a connection between past and present. His work spans from 1977-1996, beginning in his 20s. I just turned 20 and am beginning my archive. This installation reveals a genealogy between father and daughter and the connection we have always had.

All prints for senior thesis exhibition are 12''x16'' in silver frames with no mat

12''x 16'' print on exhibition fiber paper in 12.25''x16.25 silver frame (no mat) CDuncan $125, DDuncan $175

8''x10'' print on moab lasel matte paper unframed $40, white frame $70

Getting to Know Me Getting to Know Dad book: 42 pages, 35 images, 7''x7'' book, limited edition of 20, signed by Charlotte Duncan and Donald DuBose Duncan $50

Please email if you are interested!