Conversations with My Father

Seen on July 11, 2015 @ National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

Passing through the two police dogs, one on my left one on my right, is intimidating to say the least. And there is more to come. Conversations with my father transports Monique Pelser’s search to the legacy her father left. The exhibition is filled with lovely family pictures, secret filming stills of police action, object found in a drawer, the quiet rushing of the wind in a veld, an interrogation room and other attributes that served Monique Pelser’s father who served all his life with the South African Police.

The spacious lay out of pictures, sound recordings and documents questions the side of a daughter who has to delve in her father’s work to interrogate formerly unknown spaces. This dialogue with all that she inherited is a probing into his life and a search for a conversation that did not happen due to the father’s rare motor neuron disease which rendered him unable to speak for the last year and a half of his life. One of the questions that come to mind is how good and loving men can engage in cruelies outside the home? It is a story how people are shaped by their context and it questions the various uses of authority. It does not become claustrophobic due to the spacious set up. Conversations with my father does leave you puzzled.