How do we remember?

Autobiographical Note by Helen de Mouilpied

Autobiographical Note text p1

Text from autobiographical note exhibited in How do we remember? at Highgate Gallery 2019. Read the rest of the text on the website project page.

Hackney 365

How do we remember?

Hackney 365:

This second part of the exhibition is the culmination of a photographic project in Hackney . The same photograph was taken every day for a year. I was not in Hackney every day so it took longer than a year to collect the 365 photos in the slide show.They were not taken at the same time of the day. I chose a cycle and pedestrian crossing across a main through road in Hackney. People pass through at great pace and my project captured a fleeting history.

The photo was taken as soon as the camera was set up. (This rule was broken on only two or three occasions.) The camera captures a fleeting moment. The momentary memory of that instant has been captured in the drawings ,paintings and lithographs. Also I wanted to try and capture all the images together, hence the contact sheet. Traditionally in photography most images and memories are discarded from the contact sheet for ever. I have preserved all the images. As memories get reinterpreted and changed so do these images as they are reinterpreted in different media, stripped back to the barest essentials from the memory of the photo image.

The slide show, although on a loop, is in date order. The works are arranged to follow the chronology of the slide show.

Adam Forman March 2019

How do we remember?

Why do we keep memorabilia of our lives? Is it to remind ourselves of our past life? Or is it for others to remember us by?

“Memoirs let people fashion themselves into characters they want other people, if not themselves, to accept.”

(Maya Jasanoff The Dawn Watch p52 Biography of Joseph Conrad)

 Helen de Mouilpied was born in 1914 and died in 1987. Thirty years later the material she kept about herself is presented by the artist through his own memories.Your own interpretation will confer significance to these memories. Why was this material kept and not other items? What has determined the selection from the material for this exhibition? 

That selection and assemblage is further opportunity for fallible interpretation and invention.How does this material trigger our own ways of remembering?

Immersing ourselves in the details of past lives can reinforce our sense of presence and belonging in our own lives.This first part of the exhibition is made up of diaries, photos letters and other physical memories. Displayed chronologically it makes up the substance of one remembered life.

There is a fallibility in the interpretation of what someone leaves behind, both by those who knew them and those who did not.I knew Helen de Mouilpied well but those who did not will interpret her life through memories from their own.

All the material in the exhibition had been kept by her. There is a strong local connection.The family lived close by at 47  Cholmeley Park for some of the most formative years of her life. She attended Channing School and later lived on Grove End Terrace at the end of the war and for the first years of her second marriage.

Adam Forman March 2019

Press release “How do we remember?”

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PRESS RELEASE

Adam Forman
How do we remember?

Highgate Gallery Friday March 29th to Thursday April 11th 2019

The fallibility of longitudinal memory and the memory of fleeting everyday experiences make up the two different parts of this exhibition. What do we keep of our lives, is this a reminder to ourselves and how much is it how we want others to remember us? The first is subject to self-selection and the second to the fallibility of others’ interpretation. Both play on the material in this first part of this exhibition.

Helen de Mouilpied was born in 1914 and died in 1987. Thirty years later the material she kept about herself is presented by the artist through his own memories. The viewer’s interpretation will confer significance to these memories. Why was this material kept and other items discarded? What has determined the selection from the material for this exhibition? How does this material trigger our own ways of remembering?

The first part of this exhibition is made up of diaries, photos, letters and other physical memories. Displayed chronologically it makes up the substance of one remembered life.

The second part of the exhibition is the culmination of a photographic project in Hackney. Fleeting interactions are committed to photographic memory. The same photograph was taken every day for a year, but not at the same time of day. The photographer (the artist) was not in Hackney every day; it took nearly eighteen months to accrue 365 photos. These are displayed in the form of a slide show: Hackney Crossing 365. The momentary memory of that instant has been captured through photographs, drawings, painting and lithographs.

The passing of time, observing everyday street scenes and surveillance have been recurrent themes in Adam Forman’s work; travel scenes in Imminent Public Spaces (2006) and the CCTV Series (2010). Being watched, watching and observing are ever present in these images, as is the act of clandestine photography on the closely observed crossing.

Much of the work in the exhibition is for sale

For further information please contact the artist: adamforman7@me.com Exhibition co-ordinator for Highgate Gallery: alison.decleyn@blueyonder.co.uk

Gallery Open Tuesday-Friday 1-5pm, Saturday 11am-4pm, Sunday 11am-5pm; Closed Mondays PRIVATE VIEW: Friday 29th March 6-8.30pm

ADMISSION FREE

Registered under the Friendly Societies Act 1974 Registration No 51SA giving full charitable status

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