Untitled (Hongqiao) copyright 2008 Douglas Stockdale
As I investigate my memory, I find it does have many of the characteristics of this photograph. In one regard, my memories are vivid and seem very factual, as though I am looking back on an event just as it occurred. But in fact my memories are flawed and incomplete, I miss details. Over the past holidays, that became more evident as our family gathered and recounted past occasions and probably no surprise, we all seem to remember different aspects, as well as having opposing viewpoints, as to what did “actually” occur.
So how do I create something that has those same elusive qualities of the fickle memory? That is what keeps bringing me back to this photograph above. Perhaps it is the presence of the manikins as fake symbols for the individuals in my memories, who appears to be American/Europeans but the actual location is in China (jarring disconnection). They stand (perform) behind a wall of transparent glass (introspection), a glass wall that also reflects the present moment (reality). Meanwhile in the background behind the manikins there are monitors symbolic of the telling of an alterntive story (conflict) as to the potential events. A jumbled and incomplete “memory” narrative.