The Migration of the CANCER MAN
Ink sketches from my memory, still so loud.
From the couch, to chemo, to bed.
The scar curled up on the side of your head.
Little papers to help you not forget.
Your glasses that didn’t help.
The watch you liked to check.
All the words that didn’t connect.
an illustrated imaginary journal following my dad from the couch to the hospital bed during cancer treatment. On his journey to seek his self, we encounter questions regarding memory, language, documentation, and sickness. Can lost memory be recovered through the imagination? Absolutely.
The surgery to remove his tumor impacted his language skills and he struggled to write and speak. He wrote down things on pieces of paper as a way to remember, as cheat sheets for when he wanted to communicate with us. His mind could no longer connect his thoughts with his voice. French and English melted into each other. Hospital became hotel, house became office, tumor became river… He took reading lessons with a speech therapist. As a textbook, they used the book he had written ten years ago. It took him a week to go through the first sentence. He soon retreated into picture books of his favorite artists–Douanier Rousseau, Alfred Jarry and William Kentridge–conjuring up his past through the colors, shapes and meanings he saw in the artwork.
Art and reality interwove to create a world where Marc was able to keep in touch with himself and stay connected to his surroundings. Using drawings and sometimes photographs, this journal is a testament to his imagination.