THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
“Our memories are constructive. Memory works like a Wikipedia page. You can go there and change it, but so can other people” Elizabeth Loftus.
As a child, I used to frequently stay with my grandparents in their summer house. In this place, I spent some of the best days of my childhood. After my grandmother’s death, my family decided to rent the house out. This situation and my grandfather’s Alzheimer’s disease made me realised I lost a piece of my past; no photos, no house, no one to help me recall the moments spent in there. Only my personal memories left.
But can I rely on those memories? We tend to re-shape our memory to support significant aspects of our identity. Therefore, our memories are never accurate. The line between real and fake is thinner than we think, especially if we talk about personal childhood memories. By exploring the relationship between real and fictional, between memories and facts, I can challenge my own memories and how I construct them, or how other people can construct them for me. As well as how context and space play a vital role in remembering.
I tested the accuracy of my recollection by creating a model and a map of my grandparents’ house by memory. Then, I let other people (family and friends) reconstruct the memories I had in this space, using reality and/or fiction. I am transforming individual memories into collective ones since we recall and transform our memories when we share them. Finally, I placed those memories in specific locations and created a variety of different media to induce them. These photos, letters, drawings, objects and audio repetitions validate the truthfulness of the memories.
By inducing these memories, I have gained access to memories I did not even know I had. The distinction between reality and fiction is blurred.