Conversations in Past Tense

Conversations in past tense.

             My father, Richard W. Myers, was the person who taught me how to use a camera. The Pentax he gave me when I was 12 was the camera he used to take most of these photographs.   In 2011 a MRI revealed a tennis ball sized tumor at the center of his brain. The resulting surgery left him with a permanently damaged short-term memory and the inability to care for himself.

           I had already begun to archive his old negatives and slides; images no one had seen since long before I was born, and they began to serve as a point of connection for my father and me since I could not be with him.  Because the brain is such an elastic and regenerative organ I wondered if these images of his past could be helpful to him in rebuilding the ability to form memories. I printed them out and sent them to him.  Whenever I go to visit I ask him to get them out and we talk about each photograph. Though he doesn’t remember that we’ve done it before his answers are usually the same.  I have recorded the first response to some of these images.

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*****These images and responses were exhibited at Bucknell University's Samak Gallery in 2012 and are looking to travel! Please contact me if you are interested in hosting this show in connection with fundraising for brain cancer research.