When an object becomes orphaned, it loses its history. We hold onto material objects for their significance; they hold memories through their continued existence and ownership. That significance could be as simple as what a person finds aesthetically pleasing, or as complex as a piece of family history. But without ownership, an object loses the importance it once held, and becomes a forgotten memory itself.
I choose found photographs, postcards, and scraps of writing for their intrinsic effort to hold on to memory and their attempt to exist without ownership. They materialize the ephemeral. Photographs are physical proof of what the owner found aesthetically pleasing or of a specific precious memory. The photographer has specifically curated an image that is, for whatever reason, of importance. Writing cements thoughts that exist in conjunction with specific memory. Even with no ownership, these items cary echoes of their history and continue to exist outside of their context.
As I approach a found object that holds the remains of memories, my interaction with it (cutting, covering, revering, sewing, and discarding) destroys part of its history. Its owners have forgotten it, and I simulate that loss through the destruction of the original object in art making.
However, in the creation of the work, new experiences are being created, birthing new context. We, as the audience (myself included) have no insight to the object’s original significance. So, instead I can only highlight its echoes and curate information. In sewing the writing from postcards, I expose the information, but it is difficult to read and obscures the original image. In displaying a woman’s devout patience in writing 2,300 songs, we can experience what she has curated but her persistence is overwhelming.
Because memory is a give and take; there is no completely truthful memory. With all new experiences and contexts we bring in, we are only obscuring, warping, and altering what was already there.