The landscape of the subconscious and the image of the past

the-mirror

Photographs tell us of the existence but they “tell us nothing of the significance of [the] existence,”[1] notes John Berger in “Appearances”. Lieux de memoire, in other words, extract moments of history out of the flow of time, screening out that which is impossible to abstract. As a consequence, our reliance on the lieux de memoire neglects more intimate sources of memory, such as the unconscious and the intergenerational. In their films The Mirror and Daughters of the Dust, filmmakers Andrei Tarkovsky and Julie Dash point to these alternative sources of memory as they put autobiographical and intergenerational memory against the cult of the archival document and employ the non-linear narrative structure that is more truthful to ambiguous, layered, and atmospheric nature of recall.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Remembering as an act of obscuring

hiroshima 1

In this sequence from Hiroshima mon amour (32’57” – 43’45”), Alain Resnais sets the private realm of memory against the public sphere of history to explore the representation of the past as mutual and collective construction of that which is partly remembered and partly imagined.

Continue reading

Memory of touch in Laurie Anderson’s ‘Heart of a Dog’

el-tornillo-de-klaus-Heart-of-a-Dog-Laurie-Anderson-2015-Archie-Jason-Berg-Heung-Heung-Chin-Lou-Reed-documental-Lolabelle-Soren-Kierkegaard-Ludwig-Wittgenstein-David-Foster-Wallace-art-s

“One cannot know another time through visual information alone.”[1] Our memories are stored in the body as much as in the mind; corporeal as much as cerebral. Films that deal with memories must, therefore, do more than simply convey sounds and images. They must speak of and to the other senses. Laurie Anderson’s experimental doco-drama Heart of a Dog animates intimate memories encoded in touch by shifting from optical to haptic vision[2] and enabling the cinematic image to reach the “senses that are close to the body.”[3]

Continue reading

Tvrtko Buric, Behind Borders

05

As a sort of parameter, (b)order encapsulates habit. It informs the way we view and engage with what surrounds us. When he breaks open the form, Buric shatters the otherwise solidified frame of our attention and, consequently, our fixed, naturalised way of seeing. The defiance of the border of the frame is paired with the defiance of the border of the space. The multiple projection planes are suspended in space, cutting through it and resisting the confinement of the two-dimensional wall. As viewers, we are invited to move around the work and explore that which exists at the edge of perception (at its border). This shifted angle of vision is an anamorphic strategy[1] that distorts the world picture as we know it.

Continue reading

Eastern Thoughts: a travel memoir by Marta Maia and Vitor Queiroz

“And everything starts at the airport. […] Structures that put us closer to the rest of the world and that separate us from the people who have seen us grow.”

ET_Cover_WEB

Eastern Thoughts is a poetic, philosophical, and tender reflection on the phenomenon of travelling. Writer Marta Maia and photographer Vitor Queiroz traverse 1708 km through Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand to bring us an inward contemplation on the feelings attached to journeying, the complexity (and complicity) of tourism, the meaning of home and belonging, our attachment to memory, and more. This book will be of interest to and a consolation for all those travelers at heart who constantly seek out for an embracing place, and are always a little bit homesick.
Continue reading