Lake Elster Series
Each photograph in this series is a portrait of a Lake Elster resident, as recounted by unreliable narrator Wade Lagarde. Specific figures from his memory inhabit these scenes and can be traced throughout the series, from the brutal discovery of the lake by European fur-trappers in the 17th century, through Alan Welter’s time in his basement workshop and adhesives factory in 1961, on to more contemporary times with Sylvia Wolfram and her husband, Hollis, an adjunct professor of art history who inevitably descends into the lake. While researching Alan, Wade uncovers writing in Alan’s hand about a coworker named Laszlo Gorov. It is unclear whether Gorov, a dwarf Romanian boxer, actually assisted the elderly man in the factory, or was just a hallucination born of the adhesive fumes.
Significant objects in the photographs stand as attributes of characters who are often absent from the images. The inclusion of flat, stage-like painted elements heightens the fictional nature of the narrative and calls into question the veracity of the photographs. The original stories embedded in the images, as remembered by Wade, get further distorted with each new interpretation.