Optics out of shadows: creating a photographic history from conté sketches

Date created: 

Mary is a seven-minute animation based on my grandmother Mary, who died before I was born. The video integrates 16mm film, digital still images and digital video to represent the version of Mary’s life I imagined as a nine year-old. This thesis explores the video as a conversation between my childhood version of Mary and my adult reflections on that fabulation. I contextualize my video through my personal history, art practice and research. I investigate theories that explore the nature of invention, including Gilles Deleuze’s fabulation and Laura Mulvey’s usage of the term delay. Giorgio Agamben’s articulation of the lacuna and its relationship to the unspeakable helped me understand the creative choices I made in the video. I discovered that my childhood version still carries a powerful emotional charge and that the structural parallels between Mary’s life and my own are shaped by events no language can contain or comprehend.

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Copyright remains with the author
School for the Contemporary Arts - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.F.A.)