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Insignificat Memories Project Proposal

March 5, 2011

Insignificant Memories?

I’m interested in the theme of memories, what is it that makes us hang on to, collect even, specific memories, especially when they might seem insignificant. Collective memories or personal, do my memories mean anything to anyone else? Are my own memories insignificant to the outside world? Are some inconsequential even to me, as I disregard certain things myself?

Scrapbooks are objects that contain memories, usually good times and holidays. What would a “bad times” scrapbook look like? Or even one with useless, pointless things in it? Memories that don’t have any significance, or would they? By choosing to remember and log them, do they then become important in some way?  How, later on, do these memories affect us?

Film and photography are useful ways to document and explore these ideas, so I will consider these mediums to record and develop thought patterns, as well as making use of printmaking to further create work.

Everyday life and the events that took place in Amsterdam are fuel for this project, as I often decide to photograph seemingly pointless things – such as tiles on a floor or random signs.  Courtney Love’s diary is an influence as she records things in a personal and unrefined way. Its interesting, but is that just because its by someone famous? Another interesting object, is in the Harry Potter films; the idea of a memory storage device  is a strange concept which would be interesting to explore.

The photographer from Foam Gallery, W. Eugene Smith is of interest  to me as at first I thought his photographs a bit meaningless – a man walking, a man holding an infant – and then it becomes apparent that they’re part of a documentary into the life of say – a country doctor. The way the photographs were displayed was a big part of what they mean, or how important they are.

Dada is fascinating as they dealt with nonsense, pointless things to make art, and this links to my scrapbooking ideas.

As I am influenced by the ideas of scrapbooking, I’m looking at making something similar, perhaps a scrapbook or journal, including photographs, drawings prints and found objects.  I may also make a film or a kind of blog – to show the things that occurred in Amsterdam and in everyday life. Things that interest me, but that others may not be concerned with. I’m also interested with the idea of a cabinet of curosity – but using seemingly insignificant objects.

In terms of installing the work, the scrapbook/ film combo is quite a powerful thing and I think this could work well together. The book and film don’t necessarily have to have the exact same content, but they will work together.


Dada and Surrealism.  Matthew Gale, Phaidon press 1997

Surrealism – the worlds greatest art. Michael Robinson, Flame tree publishing 2005

Aspects of psychology – memory. Richard Gross and Rob Mcilveen.  Hodder and Stoughton, 2003

Remembering – a study in experimental and social psychology. F.C. Bartlett. Cambridge university press. 1995

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