VERGANGENHEITSBEWÄLTIGUNG Gladys Garcia (2016)
Vergangenheitsbewältigung is a limited edition artists' book by Gladys Estrellita Garcia. It was published in November 2016 by Spaceheater Editions. Vergangenheitsbewältigung is the process of coming to terms with the past. Vergangenheit, “past” and Bewältigung, “overcoming the negative, repressed and incriminating mental injuries and guilt.” It is a German composite word that is best rendered in English as the “struggle to overcome the negatives of
In 2016 Garcia found a box of old family photographs in an antique store. The photographs chronicled the life of a small German-American boy named Klaus Lechner, starting around 1890 and continuing until the 1940s or 1950s. It is unclear where he grew up, but the picture of the family homestead (shown on the colophon page) appears to be somewhere in the Midwest. Although there were family first names on the backs of the photographs, there wasn't much other information aside from the little boy's last name. Garcia thought about how this one family's precious genealogical visual record ended up in a Southwestern antique store, and how nobody in the future will remember them, their personalities, or any of their human foibles. Using a scanner, Garcia "treated" the original photographs to appear as they were being viewed though the twists and mists of time. The text she wrote uses the thesis that people (or maybe more precisely family) are rarely acknowledged or remembered for positive things. And in the end, as greater and greater amounts of time pass, that it really doesn't matter, since all is forgotten.
Gladys Estrellita Garcia was born and raised in West Texas. She is about to receive (May 2017) an MFA from the University of Arizona in Tucson. She has a BFA in Visual Communications and a BA in Spanish from Northern Arizona University. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona with her hydrocephalic Chihuahua Lego.
Vergangenheitsbewältigung is published in a signed and numbered edition of 50. Each book contains one of five different original, signed, archival, pigment photographs. They are enclosed in a special acid-free, patterned, glassine envelope inside the back cover. The book is 48 pages plus the endsheets, and is 7" x 7" x 3/8" and is HP Indigo printed on Mohawk Superfine 100lb text paper. The text block has blackened head, tail and fore-edges. Available through Spaceheater or Vamp & Tramp Booksellers Ltd. $75. plus shipping.