christina pettersson
The Illustrated Alphabet of Memory
2007
graphite on books
Scope Art Fair, Miami, Spinello Gallery
In The Illustrated Alphabet of Memory (from apples to yak, with h,q, and z missing), I perused the illustrations in my beloved dictionary and chose one picture per letter that connected to a palpable memory from my own history. A is for apple, the orchard my sister and I traipsed through one rainy September all alone, one gorgeous moment I can almost touch. B is for bees, that swarmed about while Nieka and I filled quart sized honey jars in Vermont. And so on. The undertaking exposed how few truly tactile memories there are, memory displaying a muddled assortment of ever varying versions of an original which is perpetually lost, and tricked by words and images. For some letters there is no memory at all. Yet out of this wreck of perspective we seek to create a plausible narrative, where there is only a million points of chaos, and as many ways to bind them together. In Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov states, "The following of thematic designs through one's own life should be, I think, the true purpose of autobiography". It would seem then, that there is no greater fiction than that of our own life.
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