The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: March 11, 2002
KATHY J. ARMSTRONG
Snippets of Memory
This installation is by, about, and dedicated to the photographer Andrew Harkins. In May 1992, Andrew was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Through the next year and a half, he documented what was happening to him physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Andrew's artwork, which had focused on people around him, became introspective during his illness.
The framed photographs document Andrew's medical treatments, as well as his search to create some understanding out of this experience. They were conceived by Andrew as a series joining empty hospital spaces with overlapping text recounting what he was experiencing emotionally and medically.
The sculpture books incorporate Andrew's story Paul and the Headache, self portraits, and MRI images. The story, transcribed from tape, is Andrew's retelling of the events surrounding the first weeks of his diagnosis and surgeries. His story is not a factual record, but one that speaks of the confusion of these events for Andrew and those around him.