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Artwork by Kristen Powell
Before Dad Moved Out
Archival Pigment Print, 2018
Artwork by Kristen Powell
Living Undercover: 214 E 5th Street Brooklyn, NY
Archival Pigment Print (25” x 32"), 2017
Artist statement

Forged Recollections: Uncovering Marty

This body of work emerged from a self-examination of my distant relationship with my paternal grandfather. My knowledge of him is based on the recollections of family members and secondhand perceptions. Martin Powell, a detective, lost one of his sons to a hit-and-run driver in 1972. This tragic event resulted in a focused yet detrimental change in his personality, which intensified his oath to the New York Police Department. These changes in character inevitably overshadowed his commitments as a husband and a father.

My investigation uses appropriated archives, including police records, family documents, and my own photographs. This "evidence" is the only piece to the puzzle that sparks our connection to one another. My cross-examination of family archives interprets photographs as fragmented objects in order to challenge their function as evidence. As the last in the line of the Powell name, I feel an obligation to transform a seemingly unattainable memory of my grandfather. In detecting the undetectable, I seek to unravel how one accidental moment in time continues to affect a family for generations thereafter.