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2021 SPE Annual Conference: Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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Ben Schonberger

COPS, COCKS, AND HITLER’S BATHTUB PLUG

Saturday, October 08 - 10:00AM to 10:50AM
Lindell Room A - Chase Park Plaza

For the last five years my photographic research has involved interviewing and documenting my interactions with retired Detroit Police Officers. They let me into their home and workspace, granting me access to their objects, images, and history. Giving their belongings the parameters of an archive, I filter and arrange items into compositions to be photographed.


My work examines multiple systems that explore how identity is constructed and catalogued. I am interested in addressing the complexities around narrative, reference, and faith through photographic research and collaborative discovery.


Within my lecture, I will discuss the following topics:


1. How an artist can infiltrate and redefine the context of images through a personal experience.


2. How layering of images can function as a system to sequence a story.


3. The implications that artists face when they begin to participate as a means to analyze.


4. The artist’s role as the maker, producer and curator of an artwork that incorporates elements of risk, chance, and collaboration.


5. How problematic issues between myself and my subjects resolve themselves into works of art.


6. How role playing functions as a tool to investigate.

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Ben Schonberger
Ben Schonberger

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