Coming to terms with my father’s death, who passed away when I was six, left me with a stepfather that I never truly allowed into my life. This body of work is an exploration of my relationship with my stepfather and my own sense of masculinity.
While conducting research for the project, I discovered the following passage in Boys Will Be Men: Masculinity in Troubled Times by Richard A. Hawley; “Every infant boy fears and resents his father and would like to eliminate him. The fear and hostility felt for the father are expressed in a cathartic “identification” with him. In the Freudian scheme, a child’s assumption of psychological masculinity is an impostor, motivated by unbearable dread. As junior is recognized as a chip off the old block – the identification with the boy’s father, or some father figure, becomes locked into his mature personality.”
Hawley’s quote struck me in a very personal way. How has my personality and sense of identity been influenced by a father I never knew, and a stepfather that I am just now taking the time to know?
Exactly As It Should Be
There are many moments from youth that I long to remember, that I have a true sense of loss over. These memories are often imagined, shaped by a sense of what I wish my childhood was like. Centered around the intersecting themes of memory and identity, Exactly As It Should Be questions whether one can fill in the gaps of their past by documenting the present.