Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Frailty of Memory

There comes a time when the function and frailty of memory becomes a preoccupation. Forgetfulness is perversely accompanied by an increased acuity of distant memories. Nostalgia becomes a way of life… a fleeting reflection… an ethereal glimpse of something familiar through the mind’s eye… fragments of memory like shards of mirror… a vision barely visible through the broken glass in the window of time.
 The digital projector is employed as a modern day Camera Obscura to explore Barthes notion of the ‘Punctum’ and the ‘Noeme’ (that-has-been). The projected image starts with a familiar image that could be carried in the wallet or reside in a well worn family album. The image is initially vivid, nostalgic – the ‘Punctum"’ – but with the passage of time, it decays, leaving an enduring memory – the ‘Noeme’ (that-has-been). This work considers one of the earliest attempts to explain visual memory, by considering the analogy of Plato's wax tablet, Freud's mystic writing pad and even the modern computer, all of which consider memory as layers.
This is a video taken of my graduation project. In a blacked out space the animation, Fading Memory as seen in my previous post, was projected on to a translucent screen made from tulle behind which was a further much darker version of the image an acrylic sheet so this was also semi translucent. When the animation starts the second image is virtually invisible (difficult to capture this in this video)  as the front image decays more light falls on the back image and as the viewers eyes adapt to the darkness the back image is slowly revealed. 
This installation which was part of my BA (Hons) Fine Art & Professional Practice final show, endeavours to portray the durability of the Photograph compared with the fragility of memory.

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