This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you're listening to Viz City, KLCC’s arts review program, version 2.0 as we reinvent ourselves in these pandemic days of social distancing.
We’ll all be spending more time at home with our heads in the internet, which as it happens, is a really great place to look at art.
I first learned about Deanna Dikeman’s photographs of her parents waving good-bye in a show called “Leaving and Waving” in a New Yorker article earlier this month. From there, I jumped over to her website:
Dikeman has posted 90 photographs of her parents waving goodbye to her from their Sioux City, Iowa home. Like my own parents, Deanna’s would stand outside the house and wave goodbye. Her camera caught that exact moment every time.
She took these over thirty years, so inevitably the seasons change, and they grow old. Some photos include details of the interior of the photographer’s car, so parallel details from Deanna’s life appear and disappear: a wedding band disappears, a baby in a car seat changes into a young man--her son--driving the car.
As the New Yorker noted, “Each image reiterates the quiet loyalty of her parents’ tradition. They recede into the warm glow of the garage on rainy evenings and laugh under the eaves in better weather. In summer, they blow kisses from the driveway. In winter, they wear scarves and stand behind snowbanks. Inevitably, they age.”
What is eternal are the loving smiles of the parents as they wave good-bye; I couldn’t help but love them back.
Deanna says she never set out to make this series--it started and she continued as a way to deal with the sadness of departures. This intimate online gallery is like a family photo album that lifts me up in these somewhat odd days, and it makes me ask if you might start such a homegrown photo project of your own? Decide on some treasured family gesture, animal or human, and make a practice of photographing it over and over again through time. Now is a good time to begin.
Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.