Memory box

Inkjet print on cotton paper, headphones, wood, ink on paper.


On the sum and its parts #1.
When the memory of a space is summoned to become description, all senses overlap: smells, feelings, distances, objects, people…the memory of a place is the memory of a stage and of the play we have acted there. The body of work went on growing, shaped by the length of a conversation, the intensity of sunlight, the chemical reaction of negative film, an X marking the spot in a map.
The whole process was immensely slow. It was important to slower things down, used as we are to immediacy. Each part was the consequence of a previous cause, each of it thought out, tried out and tested. But the sum was also made using the calculation of hazard.

Part 1. On the interviews and the maps that came from them
In «Caixa de Memórias» (memory box) Everything starts with the request “describe the place you remember most vividly”. This method triggers the most different results, and yet they all share one thing: the description, in words, of a mental image, almost photographic (one could dare say), that livens up from going back and forth in the definitions and the imprecisions allowed by verbal language.
The interview is being timed, and later read aloud in my own voice, cleansed of pauses and interjections, and I can, in this way, appropriate their memoirs. By collecting memoirs (after a long period of interviews), Carla Cabanas found a way of confronting a report of past experience’s natural fiction with a new narrative created by the images she produces from these testimonies.
In a mnemonic exercise, she asks the interviewed to draw a map of that space, so that the word can become defined matter, become charted science, and can be visited.

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Exhibition views of A casa onde nasci e outras histórias at Galeria Carlos Carvalho Arte Contemporânea, Lisbon, Portugal, 2017.
Documentation © Valter Ventura