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Maker(s):Tress, Arthur
Culture:American (1940-)
Title:Boy in Flood Dream
Date Made:1970 negative; 1976 print
Materials:Gelatin silver print
Measurements:Mat: 22 in x 18 in; 55.9 cm x 45.7 cm; Mount: 15 15/16 in x 13 15/16 in; 40.5 cm x 35.4 cm; Sheet/Image: 10 11/16 in x 10 3/4 in; 27.1 cm x 27.3 cm
Narrative Inscription:  SIGNATURE: front, lwr. r. (black ink): Arthur Tress; TITLE: front, lwr. l. (black ink): boy in flood dream
Accession Number:  UM 1978.105
Credit Line:Purchased with funds from the University of Massachusetts Alumni Class of 1928 and a National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan Grant
Museum Collection:  University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

Black and white photograph of boy climbing out of hole a shingled roof of a delapitated building in the foreground. The building look stranded in a desolate seaside landscape with large areas of standing water and the silhouette of a ship or ferry boat on the horizon.

Label Text:
Excerpted label text from the Curatorial Fellowship exhibition “Eyes Are For Asking: Narratives in Photography,” March 24 – May 1, 2016:
Arthur Tress began his career as a young boy photographing the dilapidated fun houses and deserted remains of amusement parks in his neighborhood of Coney Island. The remnants of this fascination seem to haunt this photograph. Boy in Flood Dream is a part of a series entitled Dream Collector. Tress interviewed children about their nightmares and attempted to capture these terrors in his photographs, using the same children as actors in his surreal creations. Tress has charged the image with narrative promise by portraying an almost theatrical moment. He has imbued the boy with all the potential of a protagonist on the verge of action. Suspended in time, we are asked to imagine the next moment. In their focus on dream and fantasy, Tress’s images make us question our assumptions about the meaning of the photographic truth. -Gretchen Halverson (M.A. Art History ‘16) and Procheta Mukherjee Olson (M.F.A. Studio Art ‘17)

boys; children; architecture; ruins

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