Doug Beube
Portrait of My Father Standing On Mars

1980
silver gelatin print, thread, ribbon, plexiglass
40 x 50 in.
The composite photographic book has both a front and back.. Twenty individual photographs printed from a single negative form the composite image on one side of this piece; white paint stippled on black paper comprises the reverse side. The photographs are stitched together and bound using ribbons. The complexity of this piece emerges as the viewer appreciates the changing various relationships created by his or her changing vantage pointthrough handling and observing the work, thus altering the “singularity” of the ordinary photographic viewing experience. invites Both the scale of the objects in each the individualprint panels and the viewer’s own perceptual the ambiguities draw the eye back to the images again and again. In the actual portrait, my father is bundled up in a snow suit, standing alone on a desolate road with snow flakes floating around his head as if they are stars and planets. He seems to be wearing a spacesuit in an unfamiliar alien terrain. My title alludes to the “veracity” of photography, as if my father and me I had been together in outer space, and upon returning to earth, had proof—“the photograph”—showing that life existed on another planet.
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