We are all a String of Memories.
We create our identity by experiencing moments. Every moment is a memory as soon as it passes. I often think of a moment in the past and put myself back at that time. Like trying to remember my daughter at the age of two walking for the first time. We remind ourselves of who we are when we remember. At least that’s what I thought. In fact, this is not true. Several studies have shown that the act of remembering a particular moment can be interpreted differently. Most importantly, the more you remember a particular event the less accurate the actual event becomes.
Every moment is a Memory Sensation
As soon as reality happens, the memory changes. The truest memories are those that are not recalled often. This fact is difficult for me to accept.
How can I not remember the first kiss I had with my husband? I seem to remember the place, the time and the sensation. So I did a bit of an experiment. I asked my husband if he remembered our first kiss. He didn’t. Sure he remembered the general time and place but his memory was more about the “feel”. That brings me to the most important piece. It was the sensation that was remembered. Not the detail of the time and place, rather, the connection.
My Work is Created from the Past
It is this fragment of a moment frozen in time that I try to find in my work. Many ask me if I create images that are my personal memories. No. I don’t use personal references. I use items that have a “look” of memory or are sourced from things from the past. Old photos, classic films, vintage magazine images all are references that reminds us of another time. With these little pieces of ephemera, I try to create a sensation of a memory. Not an actual event- rather a familiar image that reminds the viewer of a piece of nostalgia.
Nostalgia is defined as a sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period. The yearning is the important piece. However, I am not looking to put a piece of an event. Rather I am trying to create a sensation of a person, or an event and this creates a “yearning” for the viewer.
Like seeing an image of a woman riding a bike from the 1940s. Many look at this image and it reminds them of their mother riding a bike. The freedom and release reminds them of a special person who taught them to enjoy life and be free.
So even though this piece can reference a particular person, it is the sensation of the memory that is important. It is this sensation that makes us who we are. Not the little pieces of the actual events of time or place, rather the entire feel. Every moment is a memory and a sensation. It is this sensation that is the meaning behind my work.
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