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2020 SPE Annual Conference: Hosted by The University of Houston | Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts | School of Art

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Dustin Shores

SPE Member since 2015
Member Chapter: Southeast

Leaving Alice

Leaving Alice is a photographic journey to locate and reconnect with my twenty-five foster brothers and sisters across the country. I traveled back to my grandparents' home in North Carolina, where I was raised as their own child. Assisted by my grandmother Alice, I reached out to my foster siblings who we are still in contact with, hopeful that they could help reunite me with other members of our family that we have lost touch with over the years.

Alice emerged as the underlying foundation that shaped my process of looking, responding, and processing our shared experiences. My foster siblings and I did not share the same biological parents, nor the same circumstances that placed us under my grandparents' care. We were not all raised together, and most didn't have access to the continued stability that I was provided. But we did share Alice.

The process of loving and losing that characterized my childhood was a cycle that Alice helped me through again during this past year as we reconnected with my siblings. It gave me back a part of myself that I had lost over time. The complexity and adversity we endured are imagined in this installation, as is the capacity for love that she provided and continues to feel for us all. Alice serves as the connective thread between us, linking our present to our past.

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

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