THE CENSORSHIP OF MEMORY
THE CENSORSHIP OF MEMORY
A Performance with a Video Installation at:
- Seattle, Washington, USA - 2012
- Bucharest, Romania - 2012
Having grown up in a country with strong cultural and religious traditions under the oppression of a Communist regime, I have seen the ghosts of a lost history manifest in my relatives and community. It is their voices that drive me to create work that is heavy in tone and commemorative in nature. The Censorship of Memory is an installation with a video projection and performance.
The burning of books is intended to reproduce historical memory of censorship. Various political regimes have burned and destroyed many books, thus collective memories were lost while flooding people's memories with propagandistic slogans and literature. I am referencing forbidden and censored books worldwide. In this performance, encyclopedias reference history and people. By burning them I am enacting their erasure physically. At the end of the burning, we are left with ashes and kaolin residues of books.
I am using encyclopedias as symbols of loss of collective memory because they are no longer needed. Books themselves have become outdated as electronic books are replacing them. Using obsolete encyclopedias that once were considered precious sources of information and present in all respectable libraries, the work compels the viewer to consider the importance of memory. Painting book pages with slip is another form of erasure. This exercise mimics repetitive and continuous acts common to meditation, prayer, poetry and music. I chose to use kaolin to coat pages of the book because this ingredient is found in the very pages of the books themselves. The performer is dressed in a black suit to accentuate the idea of mourning in the ceremony.
Throughout their lives, people want to learn new things and memorize them. When they get older they either forget them unwillingly or let them go. The action of covering pages of books symbolizes the idea of concealing or losing a collective memory. People hide and erase unwanted, painful personal memories, traumas, and crimes they have witnessed or committed. Letting go of unnecessary information gives people peace of mind, allowing for a clean start.
By talking about the loss of memory we remember...
ARTICLE (pdf) New Ceramics / Neue Keramik (The European ceramics magazine), November/December 2012 issue, page 41