Loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘what to retain, what to dump, how to hold onto what memory insists on relinquishing, how to deal with change’

John Berger’

These pieces of my children’s clothing from 1986-1990, were hoarded along with diary entries. Then in 1998, diary entries were transcribed in different media onto the clothing, which was then preserved in different ways. Salt, latex and resins were used with different text media to preserve the items of clothing, like documents. Latex lasts surprisingly well, making the clothing into a kind of parchment. A fitting metaphor, for the object as text.

My children are grown up, alive, and well . Originally called ‘Loss’, they dealt with time, history, memory and forgetting , cultural discourses about mother-child relationships, and politically, the lack of real respect for the role of mother.

My diaries read like historiographic meta-fiction. They made moments real moments I had entirely forgotten, passages in my history and my children’s that were lost. Historicity is the changing of history as read in the moment….****** The present contaminates the past. I found the experience of reading my histories and thought, recorded with questionable veracity and deail at the time, questionably selected at a later date, )cathartic and revealing. The difficulties and joys of three small children, later diffiiculties of distance and physical change. Now I remember…especially the diary entry (there were a few of these…’what a lovely day we…., a day I will never forget. I had already forgotten). I am fascinated by what we remember, what we choose to remember, and the psychological repercussions for Western Society in these selections when it comes to mother-child relatiohsips.

Selection of signs and signifiers in media is arbitrary as is the possibility of reading what is ‘lost’ as the exceprts are blurred and buried by the latex, It is uninterpetable, the past cannot be duly represented. Attempt to capture is subverted.

Yet something is strangely preserved. Tenderness is there – presentism is not nostalgia, desire…

 

Selection of signs and signifiers in media is arbitrary as is the possibility of reading what is ‘lost’ as the excerpts are blurred and buried by the latex. It becomes uninterpretable, just as the past cannot be duly represented. Attempt to capture is subverted, even when something is strangely preserved. These works 16 years later, seem more beautiful than ever, and still pertinent for mothers, and their relationship with time, criticism and selfhood.