In Search of Lost Time

, by the French novelist Marcel Proust in 1909–1922, is one of the most reoccurring of influences on contemporary art. Proust mentions more than one hundred artists—from Bellini to Whistler—in the novel, referencing a great many of their works.

From Helen Jones Presentation

Autobiography: the externalization of personal memory

Tracey Emin




































Felix Gonzales- Torres
































Traces: anchoring memory through an indexical relationship with subject

Rachel Whiteread

























Cornelia Parker





























Miyako Ishiuchi: Mothers Ageing Body

























Nan Goldin: momento mori – the ballad of sexual dependency



























Doris Salcedo: The reassembing of history

The work derives from personal memories of dead and the disappeared collected first hand from the politically oppressed in Columbia

























































Post Memory: secondary memory ,constructed by the next generation

Fictive biographies archival data –personal possessions- questioning fiction and authenticity.rom Helen Jones Presentation

From Helen Jones Presentation

Christian Boltanski











































Anselm Kiefer






















Enactments: Re-enactments- Memorial

Jeremy Deller: The battle of orgreave2001 


Janet Cardiff: The missing voice

Janet Cardiff’s The Missing Voice (Case Study B) is part walking tour, part historical account, and part stream-of-consciousness narration leading you on a disorienting journey through the inner cityscape of East London.picture1

The walk lasts some 45 minutes, starting at the Whitechapel Library, where upon receiving headphones and a disc player, you follow the instructions from the narrator on the disc. The voice-over guides you to the crime section of the library, asks you to read excerpts from books, and leads you out of the library and onto the street. There, you follow instructions that take you through narrow alleyways into Brick Lane, past the old Jewish quarter into Spitalfields, and after pausing at the garden steps of a church, drops you off at the Liverpool Street tube station, where the piece ends; leaving you to puzzle your way back to the library, where the piece started.

From Helen Jones Presentation



















The Ordering of Knowlevge: Archiving

Susan Hiller: From the Freud Museum


Mark Dion: Tate Thames Dig












Other Memory Related Links

Fantasy, Memory Transformation

Cao Fei

Cao Fei’s work reflects the fluidity of a world in which cultures have mixed and diverged in rapid

Her video installations and new media works explore perception and reality in places as diverse as a Chinese factory and the virtual world of “Second Life.” Applying strategies of sampling, role play, and documentary filmmaking to capture individuals’ longings and the ways in which they imagine themselves—as hip-hop musicians, costumed characters, or digitized alter egos—Cao Fei reveals the discrepancy between reality and dream, and the discontent and disillusionment of China’s younger generation.

From Helen Jones Presentation

Matthew Barnery

He is best known as the producer and creator of the “Cremaster” films, a series of five visually extravagant works created out of sequence (“Cremaster 4” began the cycle, followed by “Cremaster 1,” etc.).mb.jpgThe films generally feature Barney in myriad roles, including characters as diverse as a satyr, a magician, a ram, Harry Houdini, and even the infamous murderer Gary Gilmore.

The title of the films refers to the muscle that raises and lowers the testicles according to temperature, external stimulation, or fear. The films themselves are a grand mixture of history, autobiography, and mythology—an intensely private universe in which symbols and images are densely layered and interconnected.

From Helen Jones Presentation

Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination

June 15, 2012 to September 2, 2012

Meghan Brody, In a Garden So Green, 1998.

Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination includes approximately sixty works by contemporary artists from around the world who have conceived humanlike, animal, or hybrid creatures to symbolize life’s mysteries, desires, and fears.

The invented creatures and imaginary worlds featured in this exhibition have been inspired by oral and written sources as diverse as Aesop’s Fables, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, science fiction, and the products of the genetic experimentation in science. The artists selected for the exhibition redirect the emotional associations implicit in their sources–pleasure, fear, wonder, curiosity, and longing–to works of seductive fantasy and uneasy intrigue.

From Helen Jones Presentation

Glenn Brown












































Kiki Smith

Kiki Smith aligns herself sympathetically with both fallen women as well as heroines of fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood. Her work, Daughter (1999) provides us with multiple versions of Red Riding Hood, who is not simply heroic but fleshed out in different contexts.

From Helen Jones Presentation










































Yinka Shonibare

ysShonibare’s photograph The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (America) (2008), responds to Goya’s similarly titled painting from 1799, and reflects the monsters unleashed under the aegis of the Enlightenment: racism, slavery, war, economic exploitation, and other blights of Western history.

From Helen Jones Presentation

Social Transformation

Because it can take the form of sensations, images, and emotions, memory lends itself perfectly as a subject and tool for art and artists. With the idea of memory in mind, some artists try to document things exactly as they are in order to create a record for future generations. But others deliberately frame the past in different or unexpected ways to change the way we think about history. So how does art shape our collective memory of the past? And how might it inform our experience of major events in our own time?
The task of preserving memory is difficult when it comes to art, because there will inevitably be tension between an object invented by a subjective mind and the objective fact or event it is meant to depict.
Even a map can be inaccurate when drawn from just one perspective. Knowing this, many artists use art to tell stories about personal and cultural memory that are open to interpretation, that reframe the past not as a fixed narrative but as a multiplicity of voices from diverse points of view. This allows us to think twice about our history and how it has been shaped, and how we might best document things to come.
Some art engages with memory by trying to erase it entirely, as in the case of Michael Landy’s performance Break Down, in which he catalogued every item in his possession before destroying them in a public event. Similarly, Swiss artist Jean Tinguely was known for creating a sculptural machine that was designed to destroy itself completely. Some art, like time-based and performance art, never even exists in a fixed space and seems to disappear entirely when not being performed. But the ephemeral nature of this art only strengthens its connection with memory, which is where you could say it actually resides.

Armita Raafat

Suggesting ruined architecture—perhaps reclaimed by the advance of moss, veiny root systems, and other subsuming devices of nature—the mixed media sculptures of Armita Raafat hint at unsettling narratives and an ambiguity between beauty and entropy.

Displayed as both stand-alone pieces and installations, her works combine papier-mâché, plaster, styrofoam, mirrors, mesh, and fabric into what look like the scattered ruins of a mosque, shrine, or high-rise building. The textured, flour-white surfaces are often flecked with purple, turquoise, and indigo pigments—as though the once-splendid colors were slowly being bled out.

Born in Chicago and raised in Iran, Raafat returned to the United States to receive her MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008. The formative years she spent in Iran were marked by the Iran-Iraq war, an arduous and drawn-out period of conflict for Iran which one can sense ever present in Raafat’s exploded and deconstructed installations.




































For all its balance and craft, Raafat’s work has also been dismantled by the artist’s hand, décollage-like, to create the effect of ruins and decay. The works is war-battered, abandoned.

There is a sense of memory, of things lost, even of melancholy, in the entropy of her work. Yet there is also an aesthetic pleasure taken in this corrosion that soothe the darker implications. There is a quality about these sculptures that you find in beautiful patinas of rust and oxidization, or in the fragments of great, ruined cities like Ancient Corinth or Persepolis.

It is the ambiguity of Raafat’s works which compels me to linger on them. The deconstruction of them is just as pleasant as their craftsmanship, teetering between nature and artifice, and not settling on either. (Alessandro Keegan)

Suheir Hammad

I will not dance to your war drum…I will not kill for you. Especially, I will not die for you

These impassioned odes to the suffering of women worldwide echo the hurt Suheir Hammad has witnessed and the knowledge she has gained through her Palestinian-American heritage. Her poems are a voice for all women who suffer such pain.





I will not dance to your war drum.
I will not lend my soul nor my bones to your war drum.
I will not dance to your beating.
I know that beat. It is lifeless.
I know intimately that skin you are hitting. It was alive once hunted stolen stretched.
I will not dance to your drummed up war.
I will not pop spin beak for you.
I will not hate for you or even hate you.
I will not kill for you. Especially I will not die for you.
I will not mourn the dead with murder nor suicide.
I will not side with you nor dance to bombs because everyone else is
dancing. Everyone can be wrong. Life is a right not collateral or casual.
I will not forget where I come from.
I will craft my own drum. Gather my beloved near and our chanting will be dancing. Our humming will be drumming.
I will not be played.
I will not lend my name nor my rhythm to your beat.
I will dance and resist and dance and persist and dance. This heartbeat is louder than death. Your war drum ain’t louder than this breath.

James Nachtwey – My Photgraphs Bear Witness

Inspired by the photojournalists of the 60s, James Nachtwey has gone on to be the pre-eminent photographer of our generation. His work is often harrowing, always symbolic, and, at times, hopeful. His photographs have not only exposed world issues and inspired conversations on them, but also so enraged public opinion that they have truly helped to change the world.

Photographers go to the extreme edges of human experience to show people what’s going on…. They aim their pictures at your best instincts: generosity, a sense of right and wrong, the ability and the willingness to identify with others, the refusal to accept the unacceptable.






































Other Artists

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