An Overheard Conversation

Last week some Thinkers in Residence had some actual thoughts about a body of work Unfinished Father by the Dutch artist Erik Kessels – the piece is made up of series of images and bits of a car that Erik’s dad was renovating when he had a stroke which left him unable to speak and communicate. Click HERE to see images of this work.



This is an overheard conversation.


Thinker 1 “This is the work that I remembered from a few weeks ago, there’s something here where he’s trying to connect with his father…it generated a conversation with you and others about our own fathers. This is my fantasy of course…”



Thinker 2 “I’m interested in your fantasies…”



Thinker 1 “..that in putting this piece together he found out something about his father….that he couldn’t have achieved otherwise…that’s what happens in therapy through a different perception of our histories we somehow come to terms with something of ourselves. This is a very moving piece for me, and who would of thought it, its a car!”



Thinker 2 “We’ve been talking a lot today about working through, as we’re working through it.”


Thinker 3 “You know how you have to sometimes organise your own boxes in your own mind, I feel that’s what the photographer is doing. As beautiful as this work is I imagine that what its done for the artist and his father is an incredibly more powerful experience”


Thinker 1 “…Its when we fragment we’re in trouble. there’s bits of rust, there’s wheels..all the bits of a car you can imagine in here. Photography is not flat – I think that’s what you’re saying too. That they are not just flat photographs on the wall, they’re alive.”


Thinker 2 “I just didn’t really want to look at these photographs in the boxes, they just seem a bit unfinished, fragmented, and I didn’t really want to make the connections… I talked to this guy about those photographs of a steering wheel. He really loved them because they’re showing the repair of and the completion of something”


Thinker 3 “I think the steering wheel is probably one of my favourite parts of this room”



Thinker 2 “Really, now we’re getting geeky”




To listen to this conversation and our growing Body of Work Archive click HERE.

Our next event at the Photographers Gallery in London will be the 16th June. Click HERE for details.



Leave a Reply