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T.R. Ericsson's Crackle & Drag, Vol. 2

Submitted by Anne Trenholme on

Visitors to the recent CMA exhibition DIY: Photographers and Books (August- December 2012) organized by Curator of Photography Barbara Tannenbaum might remember a box housing 50 booklets revealing family portraits, documents, and other materials relating to the family of the artist, T.R. Ericsson. This is actually Volume 2 of Ericsson’s ongoing series, Crackle & Drag. The DIY exhibition catalog reveals the motivations behind Vol. 2:

As T.R. Ericsson turns 40 and mourns the passing of his mother, he is creating a 150-book project, the Crackle & Drag series, using old family photographs and creating facsimiles of artifacts. He likens his use of the book form to cinema.


Ericsson explains:

In its entirety, it covers more than a century of small fragmented photographic moments; however the looping narrative is far more intimate in scale and points continuously to the aftermath of one woman’s passing (my mother). Considered as a film work, the story illustrates a very personal struggle to come to terms with the past while still maintaining an active fidelity to the present moment, which itself is continuously vanishing in time. I’ll turn forty this August. That fact coupled with watching my beautiful daughter develop for nearly five years now probably explains how I came to this work. I love the idea of being able to leave her these short filmic diaries before they completely disappear from memory.

Barbara Tannenbaum, DIY: Photographers & Books. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2012, pp 21-22. 


Ingalls Library recently purchased our very own box set from a limited edition of 25. The handmade box is lined with velvet, embossed with the title, and held together by a silk tie that snaps closed on the side. The box is black—the only black box to be completed in the official edition of 25—making it unique. T.R. Ericsson, an Ohio native, is represented in the library collection, in addition to a pair of works in the CMA’s permanent collection from 2008, Narcissus (Pool) and Jack-O-Lantern