The way we relate is through sacrifice
Starting this project, I was thinking about the objects we hold onto after loved ones pass away- not the obvious things like photos and heirlooms or ashes in an urn but the things that we might otherwise discard because they’re weird, damaged, useless or seemingly worthless. Things like broken jewelry, a tooth, handwritten lists, fur, or cheap knickknacks all start to feel sacred in the shadow of loss.
After the death of my mother and dog Vader, I became very aware of and overwhelmed by the items that I could not let go of but that I also felt connected me to the two of them. Not feeling ready to deal with the shear amount of stuff I wanted to keep, I stored it away in my basement for a later time. Now five years after my mom has passed away the urge to want to open those boxes has started to surface. For the work of creating The way we relate is through sacrifice I started the emotional process of going through those boxes of stored materials. What I realized is that I didn’t just have effects that I kept from my mother and her life, I had been holding onto what my mother kept from her parents, and what her parents had kept from their parents and so on. I had a collection of family history in front of me that didn’t tell a specific story but held secrets, anger, sorrow, humor, grief, love, and memories. I had amassed things that told a family history that I didn’t fully know or understand. Ultimately, this piece is a collection, a narrative of family through what we could not part with for whatever reason. The way we relate is through sacrifice is a story of family – it is difficult, funny, sweet, complicated, weird, sad, painful, mysterious and sacred.