I applied for a fellowship today-- here's a new artist statement that went along with it, amalgamated from a few different writing projects:
The English noun, souvenir, comes from the French verb meaning "to remember." But the French verb, souvenir, more literally translates to something like ‘to come from under’ which suggests for me a submersion into the depth of memory and resurfacing in a place of familiarity. It implies a revisitation, not the original experience, but that experience done again. Stories and possessions are souvenirs, evidence of passage through time. But found at a flea market, an object once a souvenir from a particular family narrative becomes a part of a social and phenomenological landscape. The wealth of memory is that it is fluid and resourceful, with no scarcity in its infinite alteration. By teasing objects and stories out of the singularity of their original possession we can open up the possibilities of belonging/s, where we defy the conventions of autonomy to foster greater notions of collective consciousness. The photograph is one exampl e of a prop that aids us in this shape-shifting process of discovery, essential to defining and then redefining who we are. As Roland Barthes writes in Camera Lucida, “I am the reference of every photograph, and this is what generates my astonishment in addressing myself to the fundamental question: why is it that I am alive here and now?" I’m interested in objects and histories that speak of the tension between simultaneous absence and presence, as evident in the wear and breakdown of belongings, the fading and reinterpretation of memory and the conflicting truths of contemporary and historical experience.