Abscission is the shedding of various parts of an organism, such as a plant dropping a leaf, fruit, flower, or seed. We do this when we’ve gone through a loss. My photo series and short film (BLUE) features artifacts and photographs from my husband’s grandmother’s house after her passing earlier in 2021. We’ve inherited lots of antiques in hopes that she will live on through our use of those objects. We now house her baby grand piano, which my husband tuned up. His music is featured in my latest short film: BLUE, inspired by Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2022 (Very Peri: a vibrant periwinkle blue hue with a violet-red undertone which is a symbol of the global zeitgeist of the moment and the transition we are going through) and the throat chakra symbolic of communication, honesty, and empathy.
Even though BLUE focuses on the throat chakra, it is actually a very quiet piece and became more about listening than filling the void space. It became more about the rests or pauses in between the notes. The music was inspired by the work of George Winston, specifically his album: Winter Into Spring from 1982. Music exerts a powerful influence on humans. It can boost memory, build task endurance, lighten mood, reduce anxiety and depression, stave off fatigue, improve one’s response to pain, and help one work out more effectively. New clinical research shows that instrumental piano music can improve physical and mental functioning.
This piece was inspired by Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, an avid collector of his family’s heritage. As I explored objects with memories attached to them that I didn’t have, it was like reading a book about another person’s family. Alongside this project, I read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez and focused on the themes of time, fate, and magic. I also read Wintering: the Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult times by Katherine May, a poignant and comforting meditation on the fallow periods of life, when we must retreat to care for and repair ourselves. I also read “Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space” by Carl Sagan alongside my film and photo project BLUE and I’ve been working with themes of fragility especially when it comes to our own delicate planet.
I hope to take this concept of archiving farther, even after this project concludes. In the age of Marie Kondo, where less is more and simplicity and organization are key to a serene environment, creating a digital archive for what could easily be forgotten can provide great solace for those missing people or spaces that have passed, sold, or erased. If you or anyone you know has gone through a loss of a loved one or a space, I’d love to help archive those items if keeping those items might not be possible.
Directed by Joy Waldinger (USA)