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

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Suzanne Gonsalez-Smith

SPE Member since 2010
Member Chapter: Midwest


Photography has a history of being linked to the recording of memory and also loss. It is capable of expressing the duality of the moment: life and death, dark and light, loss and fulfillment. In documentation, the act of death or loss is often portrayed as either romantic or brutally Gothic in appearance. In RELICS, death is often present through such symbolism as bones, marks of decay, scratches, and deterioration all made to preserve the inevitability that all life is subject to the laws of mortality. The use of this symbolism is a direct reference to the 17th century Vanitas paintings.

RELICS: Family Bones

RELICS: The Collector's Momentos

RELICS: Artifacts From the Antebellum House

RELICS: Toys and Bones

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