Friday, October 3, 2008

Nigel Shafran - Dad's Office

Nigel Shafran

Nigel Shafran

Nigel Shafran
Dad's Office - Limited edition book, 1998

R. E. S. P. E. C. T.  for everyone out there that diligently keep their blog fed and happy and healthy on a more-or-less daily basis. I have been gone so much and am not savvy enough to keep posting from airports and hotel rooms, besides I need my library. So, thats my attempt at a lame excuse.

As I mentioned a few entries back, this is my second favorite book from Nigel Shafran.

Dad's Office is a hard-bound collection of 17 color and b/w images of, if we can believe the title, a deserted home-office in the state of disrepair. Someone  has moved out, presumably dad, but we never know for sure. There is something almost frightening about the sight of the tell-tale signs of time passing. Things being boxed-up, vacuum cleaners and brooms to tidy up a mess that just feels like its been around for years. It might just be the nostalgia of weathered wallpaper that give these images the tinge of sadness; maybe dad has moved into an up-town high-rise office. In the spirit of the RuthBook, there is no text so we are on our own. I included this work in a show that I curated a few years ago and even with Nigel in Salzburg with me, I couldn't get a word out of him about this work which tells me its very personal. That might be what I admire most about Nigel's work; he addresses bigger, deeper, and broader themes by telling his own personal story. 

Both my own office, and my own dad are going through a rough time right now. My office is a disaster, my dad is fighting cancer. But, I have the weekend to get some order into my space and my dad is doing great, all doctors very positive, all tests looking good, although  radiation sucks. 

So as I'm sitting here, my daughter comes in and wants to "push". Her term for typing. Normally I would come up with some excuse about having too much work and she should go play with her sister but tonight, thanks to this book, I invited her up on my lap and I will leave you with what she composed. Definitely as valuable as anything I have written here in the last week.


and then Wicki the Viking started so she was off as quick as she appeared, and i realized my studio, and all I do, is slowly but surely passing.  

Visit Nigel again. He has several images out of the project on his page.


  1. Great post, Andrew!

    and don't be so hard on yourself, your frequency of posting is enough to always have me checking my bank account if i could afford maybe the last one...or this...or the next...

  2. I bought this book from the New Museum in NYC when they were moving from their Broadway space a few years back. They had a great book sale where all softcovers were 3 dollars and hardcovers were 6. I bought Dad's Office on an impulse buy (I almost didn't) and I pull it from the shelf every so often and it always makes me glad that I too the chance. Thanks for reminding me it is time to look again.

    In response to your daughter's coded message...Klaatu barada nikto!