Excerpt from MOURNING
Book By Lisa Kereszi
I watched my paternal family plot through the changing times of day, and through the seasons. I saw who, and what, visited— a family of deer, a lounging squirrel, a fox, and some birds. The only humans walked dogs and kept the grounds neat. I saw the foliage sprout, the vines creep, the fog roll in and burn off, and snow dust the grass, then melt as the sunlight took over the darkness. But no mourners, no family appeared in the frame, unlike the traditional visits my Eastern European forebears once kept up, as evidenced by the photos in my grandfather’s scrapbooks of his family posing with graves in the rust belt of Pennsylvania.
An artist book using trail cam photography, w/ an essay by Marvin Heiferman, of the whywelook Instagram, which details his own grieving in real time. A few years ago, my grandmother, then father, died in succession. Barred from the family home by an aunt, and living hundreds of miles away, I was forced to grieve alone and without access to their belongings. Shortly after setting my father’s gravestone, it was toppled, and I had a trail cam installed to try make sure it didn’t happen again – or at least to know if it did. The camera was up for 7 months, until it was felled in a storm, then stolen. This became my mourning period, and I visited their grave from afar every morning on my computer screen – the year before the pandemic appeared, and screen visitations became normalized on a mass scale. The pictures falling into grids was my way of asserting control over the chaos of loss all around me. This book of photographs made remotely is also a collaboration with Minor Matters Books, which uses a crowd-sourcing model to generate production funds, not the photographer’s own savings, so readership effectively becomes “co-publishers” and get their names in the back of the book.
Lisa Kereszi is a photographer originally from outside Philadelphia whose work, often about fantasy in public spaces, is in the collections of the Met, the Whitney, the New Museum, the Brooklyn Museum and others. She is represented by Yancey Richardson in New York, where she most recently had a 2019 solo show of photographs depicting illusionistic surfaces and signage. Her books include: Governors Island (2004), Fantasies (2008), Fun and Games (2009), Joe’s Junk Yard (2012) and a 2014 artist’s book using appropriated images of women taken by her father in the 1970’s and 80’s, The More I Learn About Women. She is also an educator, and is a Senior Critic on the faculty at Yale and has been the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Art since 2013. She lives and works near New Haven, CT.
Lisa Kereszi’s Previous Contribution To Edge Of Humanity Magazine
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