Hiding in shoeboxes in attics, amongst all the family stuff, lurk photographs of milestone events. Photos that commemorate landmarks mostly; the anniversary, the birthday, the wedding, the bar mitzvah. Those of Ab and Celie’s generation were, more often than not, photographed in a fancy-shmanzy ballroom somewhere, dressed up like Astaire and Rogers. I sometimes feel that Ab takes the form of the commemorative photograph and subverts it. Here, he shows what the staged photo at the same table never shows: those who have died. There’s a seldom spoken truth here about these celebrations. Often the dead are called up:
“Your father would have loved this wedding.”
“Your mother would have loved to have seen him all grown up.”
The empty chairs are full of people.