My Mother’s Cupboards & My Father’s Words reminds me some of Rosalind Fox Solomon’s Got to Go. For the tiny little zine (and, I guess, exhibition), Anna Fox pairs simple images of the contents of her mother’s cupboards with statements made by her father, who struggled with dementia or Alzheimer’s at the time and said some simply awful things to or about the mother. Like Got to Go, it’s sorta maddeningly depressing. The almost funny, sorta madcap existence (and filthy, cockroach-infested environment) depicted in Fox’s Cockroach Diary is here replaced with what must’ve been a near-nightmare last few months or years that belie the pretty china patterns and simple home objects.
There’s not much else to say about it, really, and I probably should’ve have even made you click through. Apologies.
My wife has a dear uncle who suffers from Alzheimer’s. I met him once, and he was really a pleasure to be around. “Farhana is my favorite, you know.” “She’s my favorite too, Uncle.” Two minutes later: “Farhana is my favorite, you know.” “She’s my favorite too, Uncle.” Two minutes later: “Farhana is my favorite, you know.” “She’s my favorite too, Uncle.” On and on for 3 hours. I didn’t get tired of it, and he laughed every time.
These days, he no longer remembers his wife, and Auntie has a hard time with him. I hope he’s not threatening to slice off hunks of her bum like a Christmas ham, or describing how he’d slather her in grease and fry her. And I don’t know what my future holds, and may Allah protect me from becoming someone who doesn’t recognize, who berates and curses his wife. Astaghfirullah (God forgive me!); there is no strength or power except that which belongs to God.
Here Press recently released this second edition of My Mother’s Cupboards & My Father’s Words. I don’t know how close it is to the original, but it’s much cheaper than original copies on the used market and readily available (at time of writing, anyway). For whatever reason, I failed to find or link to (or even think of doing so) Fox’s website in my Cockroach Diary review, so here’s a link. Do yourself a favor and go check it out.
I made another error in my Cockroach Diary review: I assumed Fox was roughly my age, maybe slightly older, photographing her first apartment or whatever. But no: Fox has been a working photographic artist since the early 1980s, so she’s roughly a generation older than me, and her housing arrangement in the late 1990s was something I know nothing about.
And I call myself a researcher. smh. Oh well. I’ll admit my mistake and maybe go back and add an edit to that post. Shame on me for rushing back to blogging before I was ready… Oh well. On with the show.