Photos from the abandoned farmhouse

 

I love these two photos side by side. They are from my Dads farmhouse and my recent trip to Slovenia. I used lighting this time and had a lot of help from Barry. It really was a collaboration, some I took, some Barry took.  One photo is actually of a living room, but they used to also use it to sleep in. The photos on the walls are of my uncle Franc, who died during the war and of my Aunt Mara and other Uncle Franc, who lived in the farmhouse after the war, (and after very long spells in prison). Both have paintings of Jesus either in the same room or through the door. I believe it shows that Jesus and Mary were just as important to them as family.

2 new artworks- Forgiveness and Prayer to the devil.

 

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“Forgiveness” is a photo of my Dads farm, where he grew up, alongside a recent interview with him about his feelings about what happened to him after the second world war.. “Prayer to the devil” is actually a letter I wrote to the Pope, but the reference to the devil is in the letter itself.  I do worry that my letter might make me look a bit foolish, but it is actually how I feel and what I did. I received a kind reply but it doesn’t actually answer my questions, it suggests I go to a local priest. I have further questions now, what penance would be given to those who  executed unarmed defenceless Catholics in revenge for war? Or those who fought the war with the germans? Did Tito, an atheist actually ask for forgiveness and who from? What sort of people go to heaven?  Surely it can’t be possible to send a good man like my dad to hell, even if he can’t forgive those who tortured him and executed his friends.

These two latest photos are using much more text. I find the subject so complex that I can’t find any other way to do them. It has made me think quite deeply about why text with a photo might be different from using a video with sound and visuals. also which might be better and why. I am also editing the video interview but I haven’t finished that yet. I haven’t reached any conclusions as to which is better, but I have understood some of the differences. Obviously watching a video enables one to see and hear the emotion in the voice and person, this is absent from just text with a photo. However, if one reads text then the words are being internalised and the reader is saying them as though saying it themselves.  I’m not sure which one would bring about greater empathy as I know that when I read text,  I read it to myself in a monotone voice. I am also too close to the subject to be objective in my analysis. This is something I need to experiment with.

Our group exhibition, near Brick Lane, London.


LIP 29th ANNUAL EXHIBITION
THE OLD TRUMAN BREWERY
Unit 11, Dray Walk, London E1 6QL

Located at street level, off of Brick Lane (MAP)
Open Wed-Sun 11am-6pm; Mon 11am-5pm; Tue 11am-3pm

6-12 December 2017

I have one photo in this exhibition.  From my project-  “My Father’s land”

“Go ahead and shoot the devil”

 

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The first of my photos about my father’s story. This is an experiment and may not be the finished photo, but it’s a start at trying to show what happened. I was lucky to get hold of some of Dad’s diaries, written when he was sixteen and with a death sentence on the whole family. I translated these words myself with the help of Google, Pons.si and my Slovenian lessons. It’s a good thing we’ve started to learn the past tense, I can finally make more sense of the words.

My main difficulty in trying to do work about Dad is that I can’t imagine I will ever be able to convey how awful the experiences he had were. It doesn’t help that Dad won’t tell me everything and he absolutely refuses to talk about his brother who died.

I decided to place Dad and his words in the farmhouse where he was born and lived before he became a refugee. His diary was written in this house and some of the descriptions are about what happened there. The house has been empty for many years and is now in need of extensive repair. A house in Jungian dream therapy is a representation of the person dreaming about it. It is fitting for the photos about my Dad that it is not whole anymore. It is largely unchanged since the days my Dad lived there, as his brother in law, who was also a surviving Home Guard, refused to change with the times. He said if it was good enough for the last generation, its good enough for him. This means the photos of the house are fairly true to how it would have been 70 years ago, although there are some things like plastic bags and other things that show it is taken now. I can remember visiting and using the outside toilet, tin bath and aga-type stove, they still used the bread oven too. I used to love it there.

The words on the photo are

Then one of the two in the house said “Go ahead and shoot the devil” He held a gun to my head for a long time.

Tedaj je eden tistih dveh rekel v hiši:« Kar ustreli ga hudiča«. Dolgo časa mi je grozil s pištolo.