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The second series of photographs in the Wurlitzer Trilogy by Arthur Tress. The Fishtank Sonata deals with the effect of humans and society on their environment. Like the Teapot Opera, it is an allegory of sorts. All the photographs are set in a cast-iron fish tank in a variety of locations, using the same types of ceramic figurines and miscellaneous objects found in the previous chapter.

The basic story concerns an unsuccessful fisherman who one day meets a magic fish who takes him on a strange journey to the bottom of the sea. The captions for the Fishtank Sonata are written as pieces of verse, and the entire story has a meditative air to it, contrasting with the bright simplicity of the Teapot Opera.

Of the three series, I found this one the most difficult to understand, as there is a lot going on in each of the photographs. It is difficult to describe the effect created by the range of figurines and models used for the photos (a lot of them seem to be from the 1950s or even earlier); I remember feeling overwhelmed by the imagery and amazed at the diversity of all the objects Tress managed to pack into a single shot.

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