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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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Will Connally

SPE Member since 2013
Member Chapter: Southeast

Lake Elster Series

Each photograph in this series is a portrait of a Lake Elster resident, as recounted by unreliable narrator Wade Lagarde. Specific figures from his memory inhabit these scenes and can be traced throughout the series, from the brutal discovery of the lake by European fur-trappers in the 17th century, through Alan Welter's time in his basement workshop and adhesives factory in 1961, on to more contemporary times with Sylvia Wolfram and her husband, Hollis, an adjunct professor of art history who inevitably descends into the lake.

While researching Alan, Wade uncovers writing in Alan's hand about a coworker named Laszlo Gorov. It is unclear whether Gorov, a dwarf Romanian boxer, actually assisted the elderly man in the factory, or was just a hallucination born of the adhesive fumes.

Significant objects in the photographs stand as attributes of characters who are often absent from the images. The inclusion of flat, stage-like painted elements heightens the fictional nature of the narrative and calls into question the veracity of the photographs. The original stories embedded in the images, as remembered by Wade, get further distorted with each new interpretation.

Hollis's Goggles

Alan's Workbench


"Sylvia on the Grass"

Along the Edge of the Pool

Jackie-Boy on the Wolfram's Counter

And Now Rubber Tub Stoppers

First Meeting (Rooftop)

"Chalk Threat (Mary-Catherine Barabbas)"

"Laszlo Gorov, Alan's Confidant"

"Gorov's Summit"

"Passover (Mona)"

"One Week on the Job (Spatula)"


"Night-Hitching (Rails)"


"Fragments (Jawbone)"

"Marci and Rick's Failing (Window)"

"Remains of Vernon's Factory"

"Sylvia, After Hollis"

"Alan and Gorov in Vernon's Break Room"




"Hazeleine, 1669 (Cairn)"

"Lake Elster Timeline"

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