Close Calls (or War Stories My Father Never Told Me)

Close Calls (or War Stories My Father Never Told Me), 2017, collage, 61cm x 92cm/24in x 36in, © 2020 Dixon Adair


Close Calls (or War Stories My Father Never Told Me) is a glimpse of suppressed remembrances of those who served in WWII and returned home. Inside the rotary dial of an old phone we can make out the stylized outline of a skull.  A ceramic sieve serving as cranium holds back those who didn’t survive the ordeal, represented as the field of cemetery markers.  Parachutes double as eye sockets of the skull, their expression made weary by the suspended machine gun belts looping below them.  The open bow of a cargo ship serves as the nasal cavity and upside down bridge acts as the skull’s lower jaw, capturing a long gallery of receding lights (interior of a Moscow subway station).

The dial numbers pull in the supporting images of the narrative on the periphery: The celebrative embrace of the returned warrior is a little marred by the mended stocking legs, suggesting a possible indiscreet “casual encounter,” had while he was gone to war.

In the right corner, a bomber dropping “boots on the ground” recalls a well-worn phrase. 

At the top, the military chaplain takes down names decided by the naked luck of the roulette wheel of fate.

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