University of North Dakota Final BFA Exhibition
Inheritance is an installation for the viewer to learn about the history of two local family lines. I want the audience to connect with the display through contemporary technology, compared to the subject matter that dates back to the 1700s. Each family has their own book that is hand bound and designed. Each book goes through the timeline of each family line and ancestors’ births, deaths, locations, and any known facts. Both books are color coded, either blue or green to separate them. I chose the tones because they are more gender neutral and can easily be differentiated. Biographies have photos of each induvidual, couple, or family, and information about their lives. The book is separated chronologically, with family trees and maps in the beginning an ending with interviews, photos, and documents. Simplistic infographics are used on family group photos to identify each induvidual.
The importance of genealogy is up for debate, even though it is the second most common hobby in the United States, as over 60% of Americans research their lineage. Through my work, I hope viewers get the nostalgic sense of family and are motivated to discover their ancestor’s past. After learning about my ancestors, I try harder to follow their examples of hard work and the importance of family.
The information in this piece has been discovered through interviews, the United States Census, Ancestry, Clay County Historical Society, and many family members. Each wall panel is hand constructed and coated for preservation. Oil paint is used to keep with the traditional theme, while giving each portrait a contemporary look by making them semi-transparent. The panels coincide with each book relating to that family. Items displayed are heirlooms of each family or of the local areas in which they resided, and date back to the 1800s.
Above: View of hardcover set
Above: View of spreads from Rehder lineage
Above: View of spreads from Berge lineage
Above: View of panels, oil on birch panel with plexilglass mount, frosted vinyl on plexiglass
Left: Rehder, Palya, Kerestes lineage
Right: Quanud, Berge, Stadstad lineage