Tag Archives: memory

Note on work for the TVG exhibition – 2

After a few days away from this, I took another look at what I have put together so far for this, and the bits that intrigue me are the intermediate areas between the old photos and the new, where one is fading out and the other gradually becoming clear. There is something in this space that I want to explore further, to do with change, the reality of history and memories. More to come on this in future posts.

Secondly, I have been looking at the idea of how we store our memories, and in particular our photographs (which recall the memories). I have seen other students putting work relating to memories in boxes, but I would like to think about them as packaged ideas, that one can take out to look at. To this end, I have been experimenting with enclosing an image or images within a clear box, that one can pick up and consider from a variety of angles and directions. The clear barrier between the viewer and the memory appeals to me in the same way as the glass on a picture or photograph frame does, but the three-dimensional aspect adds something – the ability to look at a memory from different points of view and perspectives, which echoes how some events and what happened at them keep reappearing in our minds.

There is also something to consider here about how certain memories, which we take out to look at over and over again, may be holding us back from making necessary changes to our lives. An example might be a relationship break-up, where certain behaviours by the ex-partner are regularly re-examined. We can only move on if we decide to forget these issues. I have put together a little sequence below to illustrate this idea. I am still working on how to suspend the photographs within the cube invisibly, so for now I am using red thread, and on reflection, the Red Thread analogy works quite well, so I might keep it. (The images inside the box were something I had lying around, so are not significant. For a proper version, I will need to think about representations of specific memories.

I am also wondering whether a series of stcked boxes with different images and different stages of forgetting might work. I haven’t got enough boxes at present though, only three. Also, should the red thread extend outside the box on one side to simulate the connection with the photographer?

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Today’s photos are tomorrow’s nostalgia

As mentioned in recent posts, I was much struck by Eric Kim’s thoughts on Araki’s philosophy of photographing his everyday life, and this remains the case. The concept of memento mori has further been in my thoughts  because of two events which have happened recently. The first was listening to the Radio 4 programme on Leonard Cohen and his muse, Marianne. It was a wonderfully evocative piece, full of emotion, poetry and singing and was a joy to hear. Cohen and Marianne talked separately about the time they spent together and how various of Cohen’s songs recalled specific moments. These songs, which were made with great emotion at the time, now have a nostalgic resonance both for the two protagonists, but also for those of us who marked various points in our own lives while listening to them. Sadly, since the programme was recorded, Marianne has died, so all that is left is memories now.

The second was that my father last week gave me my mother’s camera, saying he would never use it again. (My mother died in 2011). To be fair, he wasn’t much of a photographer anyway, and Mum used to take all the family photos. Laterally, this was done using an Olympus Speedrite 110, which I assume she bought around 1992, when they first went on the market.

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Alongside the camera, he gave me her accessories: a fine Velbon metal tripod (which I never saw her use), a remote control system (ditto), some macro lenses and various unused and exposed films, including at least one which has been used but has not been processed. I will be sending this one in for processing along with my own photographs taken on the camera, and am keen to see what is on it.

Together, these various small events have made me realise that my own photography must be about the people and ideas I will want to recall in the future. Holidays and parties are all very well, but the images that are likely to bring back significant memories are the everyday moments of interaction among family members and friends. The bits in between the set piece events, as it were. I wish to explore that avenue in detail while working through this module. And now I come to think of it, the reasoning behind my decision on what to photograph for Assignment 1 falls into this category, but I will explain that more in the assignment itself.

References

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00csph9

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2016/08/10/12-lessons-araki-has-taught-me-about-photography/