“Yes, suddenly I saw it clearly: most people deceive themselves with a pair of faiths: they believe in eternal memory (of people, things, deeds, nations) and in redressibility (of deeds, mistakes, sins, wrongs). Both are false faiths. In reality the opposite is true: everything will be forgotten and nothing will be redressed.” – Milan Kundera, The Joke
“Precisely because it is recorded, remembering changes into forgetting and becomes transient”
– Hans Ulrich Reck
Photography is a memory medium based on perceptions and experiences that have been stored in the unconscious. My work is a commentary on photography itself. Photography is a manifestation of individual and collective deceit, in that photographs impose themselves and replace themselves for the real, finite memories we store in our minds. The invention of photography has demonstrably altered our remembrance of our lives – our photographs and documents become a palimpsest of our lives, imposing, erasing and distorting that which we experienced first-hand.
What I am interested in is the memory of memory; that is, how we remember that which we remember. My work aims to reflect on the nature of our human propensity to literally document what we experience. Our lives are a constant attempt to solidify and monolithise the fundamentally human experience, which is transient and ephemeral. Whether we are taking photographs of our loved ones, leaving memorials for the deceased or hoarding parting shots from jilted lovers, we are always amassing a personal shrine reaffirming our existence. Paradoxically, the more photographs we take, the less that we remember each moment. Our lifelong obsession with documenting our lives becomes lost in an everincreasing sea of self-justification and self-validation.
The typological aesthetic and grid arrangement of the series reflects our attempts to feign forgetfulness and reinforce the structural integrity of memory. The result of this system, however, welcomes associative combinations and creative projections from the viewer. This effect connotes an implicit relationship between remembrance and imagination. What emerges is a piece that remembers forgetfulness and bears witness to the transitory nature of memory.
My work is a comment on these paradoxes and contradictions, and aims to make some sense of our lives as experienced through personal documents. Aided by technology, we are surrounded by edifices of memory and remembrance that amass around us; as much as we live in the present, we live in the past—and as much as we record that past, we can never remember one that truly existed.