"Harmony" by Hunter Madsen


"A lovely thing about Christmas," observed Garrison Keillor, "is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together."  Perfect domestic harmony is, for many families, a false idol unmasked by holiday reunions.

Here we decode a home-sweet-home tableau that, upon closer inspection, admits of visual fakery and suggests something more like a crash-and-burn site. A jet's exhaust trail, visible in the distance, appears illusorily to billow up from the cozy hearth of a happy homestead. 

(The shot memorializes a last, disastrous kamikaze holiday trip to join siblings in visiting my parents for Christmas. As in other recent years, we had all hoped to have a nicer time together, like the good old days we recalled. Instead, my demented father accused me of attempting to poison him with ice wine, whereupon, like a demon, I was cast out, to general dismay. Suddenly the reunion was off.)


TITLE - "Harmony"
WHERE - San Diego, California (2014/2019)