Affect of Memory (2013)

Here’s a photo from a family album: there are my relatives on it and also strangers whose names I don’t know. It takes a momentary but still significant effort to separate “my people” from the group – I never knew these people the way they are depicted here. I recognise my grandmother at the age of 24 because her image in my mind is a sum of all the later photos of her, on which she gets old towards my personal memories. Photos are the signs of stops she makes during this journey.

People slowly come together to give birth to me one day: I know them without recognising because my recognition is always false – it points backwards, moves from the future into the past, to me these faces are only a symbol of the inevitability of my own existence.

So “they were” message from the archive photos transforms into “I will”, and in the case of someone else’s archive – into “someone else will”. In any case, the photo archive is a promise of the future tense, someone’s existence or non-existence.

Destroying or altering the image hereby is equal to the act of forgetting, motion in time or placing into the new context. On the certain stage of these alterations and experiments, “they were” does not transform into “I will” anymore but instead simply dissolves in the decorative space, totally weaving into the fabric of present.

This project is an experimental meditation on the nature of human memories and personal photo archives.


2014 Affect of memory, Minsk Center of Modern Arts, Minsk, Belarus