Fraud Blocker

The song of the swan

Flavia Schuster
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Entry Fee: Free

Dad forgot everything.  
I forgot him. 

Good quality socks produce something like a spell on me, a peculiar taste I inherited from my father. As a game, our thing, I would rummage through his drawer every so often to steal a pair. I would put it on immediately and sit in front of him making exaggerated movements with my feet so that he could see them. He always responded with a grunt that feigned annoyance. 

Now I remember us. 

For years, I have imagined the death of my father like a ritual: I would get the best pair I could buy and throw it on his casket. No flowers or dirt. Socks. 
Without knowing this, my mum takes me to my dad’s drawer and tells me to choose whichever ones I want. Without realizing it, she encourages the last act of complicity with my father. 

Dad is not singing. 

They say that an artist’s last work is his swan song. Greek gods like Apollo and Aphrodite, or Saraswati the Hindu, ride them to carry the dead to the afterlife. The Celts believed that a pair of swans escorted that migration of souls. Another belief is that swans announce deaths and that they mate for life. It is said, they sing only once before they die. 

Dad in the next room is bed-ridden I hear his throat clearing, he is preparing his song; I strive to keep that last bittersweet memory alive: after weeks of not eating and without the strength to even open his eyes, a gift. He gazes, he accepts a few delicacies, laughs, hums bossa nova and takes my mother’s hand to his kiss. She, crying, leans over his body and a tear falls into one of those freshly opened eyes. He closes them again and the tear slides down his cheek. I didn’t know that you could cry someone else’s tears. 

Only them.


This exhibition is outdoors. Please check what COVID-19 restrictions are in place before you visit.

Flavia Schuster (1976, Buenos Aires) graduated with Honours in Photomedia from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia) in 2003 with guidance from Max Pam.  

Upon returning to Argentina in 2010, she ran to the nearest mad house for men and lingered for 5 years coordinating a photography workshop and teaching university seminars on ‘Photography and Madness’ and producing her own work. 

She has exhibited in festivals and group shows around the world since 2001 and held solo exhibitions in Argentina, Australia, Sweden, India and Canada. 

Her first book De Noche Todo el día (Nighttime all day) was published in 2019. Her second book, The song of the swan, will be available from December 2021. 

This event has concluded
Entry Fee: Free
© Rob Johnston

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