Memory phantoms

I am a consciousness affected by total amnesia. My means of existence consists of painful rememberings. The process of ‘remembering’ is radically different from the process of ‘not forgetting’, which is a characteristic of the traditional world. The traditional Jewish world knew what not to forget, how and why. I don’t have the answer to any of these questions. I don’t know what I remember, how I do this and, most importantly, why. But I simply must remember. My memory is a mix of delirium, unconscious images, recollections and imaginings. So I often look at an object and find that it vaguely reminds me of something.  As a rule it’s a basic likeness (although it is often texture, smell or, in a word, any impulse which brings forth memories). And I, like a resident of Marques’s Macondo who has lost their memory, sign the object. But I sign it with a name born of my imagination and not that name which actually belongs to the object! It’s like a game played by a child who for the moment has an archetypal memory rather than their own. At the same time the objects remain the same as they always were – rusty metal, suitcases, bits of wood, etc. The viewer does not see a ‘parochet’, an ‘Adon Kodesh’ or a ‘mezuza’ but a piece of rusty metal that looks like a parochet, a suitcase which looks like a cupboard, a sheet of tin which resembles a scroll. That’s what I’m trying to show! Not ‘memories’ as the result of the work of our memory but ‘remembering’ as a process of the restoring of memory.

In this sense my objects are not Judaica made from other materials. My objects are not symbols but signs pointing towards Judaica. They rise no higher than this barrier of meaning and time. My objects are phantoms of memory. I won’t succeed in understanding or remembering their meaning and intention.