Navid Haghighi ‘18 MFA
When a father dies before his time, he remains for his son an eternal shadow, and an unstable memory that fades. The unresolved tension between remembering and forgetting keeps constant company with the present.
“This Place Looks Like a Paradise; This is Paradise” deals with traumatic experience of losing a parent and with the simultaneous reality that one never fully knows one’s parents.
Just before my father’s death, he woke from a dream and spoke a few words to me, but I struggle to recall what he said. Since that time, I have been pre-occupied with imagining his last dream. I search through fragments of personal and family archives. I travel the roads we drove when I was young. I visit the places where he was photographed, strong and alive. A photograph can be a tool we use to take it back to the certain points in one’s life to remember the face, the place once understood and there is always something melancholic about a photograph with which by the act of layering images I reinforce that quality.
By the act of recalling, I can go to the most distant place to explore idiosyncratic forms of memory. The subject is disappearance: its permanence and totality. I cannot find my father, a man who loved the ocean, a man who feared the ocean.