In WG Sebald's novel Austerlitz, the protagonist watches a slow motion copy of a Nazi propaganda film repeatedly, desperate to find even a glimpse of his lost mother that tallies with his fading memories.
For this series I sifted, frame by frame, through my family's limited archive of movies and transparencies from the 1950s for traces of a past I did not live, but which provided me with a screen onto which I could project my desire to know my lost parents. The fragments of home movies, altered through three generations of transfer, become talismans against familial oblivion. The heavily damaged colour transparencies, made almost indecipherable by age and the consequent destruction of the film surface, have been digitally unveiled, though the figures remain an enigma. Are the masked people my parents, or their friends? Perhaps, like Austerlitz, I shall never know. There is no one left to ask.
Karen Trist at Project Space:
Karen Trist at Queensland Centre for Photography:
Exhibited in CCP's Night Projection Window
7 nights a week after dark
Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George St, Fitzroy Victoria 3065, Australia
+61 39417 1549
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Seven nights after dark