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ASC Window Space | Sam Brereton | Souvenir
04/07/2013 - 05/08/2013
A souvenir is an object a person acquires for the memories an owner associates with it. The term souvenir brings to mind the mass-produced kitsch that is the commodity now associated with tourist attractions around the world. But a souvenir can be any object collected or purchased and transported home by the traveller. The object itself has no real significance other than the psychological connection the possessor has with the object as a symbol of past experience. Without the owner’s input, the object’s meaning is invisible and cannot be articulated. Wikipedia
Memory is the process in which past experiences are encoded, stored, and retrieved within our body. Although there has been many studies within the field of psychology, the human memory, and the way it works remains a largely elusive subject. Unlike a computer, memories can progress or adapt whilst being processed. There are obviously many factors, or distractions, which effect the way memories are received, recorded and recalled. For this reason, its possibly to say that memory is not as reliable as we often perceive it.
Photography or ‘light-drawing’, and memory share much in common.
Death is implicit in every photograph – the death of a moment. (Barthes)
Since its evolution in around 1839, the humble light-drawing has crashed into and grown throughout contemporary society. Photography and especially it’s little sibling, film, now permeate the vast majority of all our daily lives.
Photography is to appropriate the thing photographed. It means putting one’s self into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge, and therefore like power. (Sontag)
Photographers decide what to take a photo of and what elements to exclude. These factors may reflect a particular socio-historical context. Along these lines it can be argued that photography is a subjective form of representation.
These images, from a series of seven, are the result of a recent trip to the US and Canada.