In Search of Lost Time
In Sévres, France, a vault with three separate locks contains, under three glass domes, the 132-year-old platinum-iridium cylinder that represents the standard mass of a kilogram. It has been measured against replica standards at approximately 40-year intervals, and it has been different each time. If this supposed scientific constant is in a state of change, how could we hope that something as evanescent as our recollections could remain immutable?
I am fascinated by memory. I am as interested in theories of contemporary neuroscience that discuss the deterioration of our memories, brought on by the very act of remembrance, as I am in Honoré de Balzac’s opinion that the attempt to preserve a subject through photography physically diminishes it. The title In Search Of Lost Time refers to Marcel Proust’s tome of the same name. It was previously translated as Remembrance of Things Past, and I can’t help but think that he would smile a little to know that even the title of his book has changed over time. Proust’s words about his memories, penned nearly a century ago, reflect what neuroscience is discovering now: that memory is malleable, imperfect, and ephemeral.
The idea of the search is key for me. Rather than approach art making with hopes of finding an answer, I love being led by the question, stumbling upon a new thread, and following the questions that that new curiosity generates. I invite you to share in that process, and thank you for taking the time to look.