Inquiries in visual memory

In the visual arts you can bring ideas, pictures and other visuals to be viewed in the rather open and free space of art. This means that nothing is what it seems to be and that the obvious can have connotations of private or more social and broadly accepted meaning. To be surprised is to allow oneself to be open and curious to the visible world.
I want to investigate the visible world, or more precisely to transform everyday life into visible images that can be used to tell about culture and life.

The image is here used as an investigative tool too makes inquiries in everyday life and in our visual memory. This means that conceptual frames and guidelines are used to construct the gaze of the concrete projects. The image is not used to ‘express oneself’ as in Romanticisme but the image is used to construct ways of seeing and to display ways of seeing in narratives.

The image used here is mostly photographs but also drawings, painting, video, models produced – and images from archives and popular magazines. This collections of images is then organised in sequences of images where the story is in the individual picture and in the relation between pictures, where the most crucial part is what comic theorist Scott McCloud believes is the most important: the ‘gutter’ between two pictures (McCloud 1993). I see the narrative construction of two or more pictures to be crucial to guide the inquiry in a certain direction. It is the telling of the images and a telling with the pictures.

Dr. Annette Kuhn works as a theorist of culture and she ends her study of Family Secrets. Acts of Memory and Imagination with these six theses:
1. Memory shapes our inner worlds
2. Memory is an active production of meaning
3. Memory texts have their own formal conventions
4. Memory texts voice a collective imagination
5. Memory embodies both union and fragmentation
6. Memory is formative of communities of nationhood.
(Kuhn 2002:159-169)

I see myself as an artist as maker, user and thinker of archives. My journey has been an inquiry in visual memory – my inquiry in my visual memory – and thus a personal study of how one’s personal life is closely connected to critical topics in contemporary social history. The fluid process of adding individual projects to the growing whole follows my emotional fascination and understanding of visual and personal value in construction identity and coherence. Categories in the archive cannot be solely factual or decided in a timely manner but are also formed emotionally and imaginatively to reflect the contradicting and complex images produced.

Kuhn, Annette (2002): Family Secrets. Acts of Memory and Imagination, London: Verso.
McCloud, Scott (1993): Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Northampton, MA: Kitchen Sink Press, Inc.