I went through my parents’ stuff and in one of the cupboards I ran into boxes and boxes of slides. They showed the typical signs of things that had been untouched for years. The dust piled high and where the boxes were made of paper, they had merged to perfect fit.
I started to skim through them. Those were happy moments in a family’s life. Otherwise, nobody had cared to pull out the camera. They were so much faded in the memory and so far away in time, they might have been the script to another’s story. But these were the records of our lives. Though fleeting moments they made the Us.
I couldn’t just put them back into the box, into the cupboard, into the dark of the past. It is what we do today: Store things in order to return to them later. Our storage devices become more sophisticated and their capacity bigger by the minute. Yet, the later never comes as where is always new information, new moments that we store for later. Later is the new forget. I didn’t want this. There had to be a way to keep those moments in the present.
Without consciously aiming at it, I formulated a new theme in my art in this moment that had unknowingly kept me working all summer: How can I turn fleeting moments into a remaining part of the life?
As for the slides – I sew them together and hung them up. The light that falls through them bathes the space behind it into the colors of happy memories. When you look through the bright colored wall and into the light, family life unfolds like in a storybook with 1,012 chapters.
It’s a true generation project as my parents took the slides between 1978 and 1990. And they took photos of everything from our visits to the zoo, work in the garden and family holidays to our trips toHungary,USSR,Poland, CSSR and through the GDR to my first day in school, my brother’s Jugendweihe, class trips and the fall of the Wall.
It’s recollection, retrospection, it’s 1,000 Memories.