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Questions for My Father

The role of fatherhood is a sacred institution unless you are artists Karl Haendel and Petter Ringbom. Their video installation Questions for My Father is currently featured at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. In a video that is 11 minutes and 17 seconds long, numerous men sequentially ask questions of the utmost candor, as if addressed to their fathers. The questions range from the profound (“Do you see me as an extension of yourself?”) to the banal (“Do you enjoy anything besides fishing?”).

In the men’s freedom to ask anything, these questions lean heavily toward the derisive, are often crude and can be frankly accusatory. The men in the video have commonalities: Some have lost their fathers, many never knew them or had fathers who came of age in the ultra-conservative Nixon/Vietnam era. With this narrow demographic representation, it is hard to gauge the universality and relevancy of their responses. This piece has a ubiquitous feeling of subversion, with a pretense of realism. (Ehren Clark)

Questions for My Father @ Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple, 801-328-4201, through May 19, free.

Date: May 15, 2012
Phone: 801-328-4201
Address: 20 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: Utah Museum of Contemporary Art