Sarah Simmons BFA General Fine Arts Thesis Fall 2014
Defining an Absence: Memory, Being, and Place
This thesis is an exploration of recollection, as an
active, reconstructive gesture, which pulls from the wealth of past experience to make present what is absent. Affected by aesthetic, intellectual, sensory, and temporal cues, the body begins to weave memory traces and associations into a recollected image. This new image exists within the body, in the context of
all recollections that came before it, and altering the context of all that will follow, weaving over time a sense of identity and being in the world. This occurrence and reoccurrence of imagery within the body resists linear time creating a place in which the past and present simultaneously coexist.
To further demonstrate the importance of memory on the construction of identity I explore the roles of remembering and forgetting in the shaping of identity.
Through a personal interlude, I embark, through memoir into the nature of memory, absence, and identity, sharing the experience of “being forgotten.”
Through the process of research and making, I explore the concept of place, as defined by Lucy Lippard, as it is recalled in the body. My thesis work uses photographs, textiles, and sculptural objects combined to create a visual metaphor for the fragmented compilation that is recollection. Employing a poetic approach to the philosophy of memory, my work seeks to voice the imaginative gesture of recalling past experience as the past is made present in the body.