ELUSIVE MEMORY

In America, the photographer is not simply the person who records the past, but the one who invents it.

–Susan Sontag

Do you really remember your past, or have you simply seen the photographs so many times, you’ve fabricated selective memories? I have always been fascinated by family photos and collected them most of my life. Recently, I’ve been drawn to abandoned ephemera discovered in my parents’ basement. Inadvertently exposed to water, heat, and humidity, these once-precious objects have undergone a powerful transformation. My current work utilizes these damaged family pictures as subject matter in a meditation on the enigmatic nature of vernacular photography. In their final representation, banal objects become simulacra for loss and speak to the complicated relationship between photography and memory.

Deborah Orloff