Exploring the Fleeting Nature of Memories

Memento Obliviscere runs until February 18 at MO_Space Gallery.

(SPOT.ph) How much can you really trust your memories?


So much of what we remember is influenced by things both internal and external—whether they’re as complicated as emotions, or as seemingly innocuous as music. This fragility is the subject Bea Camacho tackles in her exhibit, Memento Obliviscere, which runs until February 18 at Gallery 2 of MO_Space in Bonifacio Global City.





Among the pieces on display, the series “Memory Apparatus (Typewriter, #1 to #3)” is arguably the most thought-provoking in its apparent mundanity: they are old typewriters, yes, and surely can be considered artifacts of generations past. But look more closely and you’ll see that the letters on the typebars have been filed off, each one of them now smooth and anonymous and no longer able to perform their primary function—to document.


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This fascination with memory isn’t new for Camacho, whose 2010 exhibit at Pablo Gallery, Standard Fiction, dealt with the reconstruction of memories. “I've been fascinated with memory for quite some time and have made a lot of past work on this topic,” she said to SPOT.ph in an email interview. “I think my experience of moving away from home and living away from my family at a young age prompted a fear of forgetting—forgetting people, places, events. I've recently revisited some of these themes and in my research have learned a lot about the different scientific studies that have been done that illustrate the different ways it is possible to manipulate our memories. It seemed very relevant for me to explore the idea of memory as being vulnerable and manipulated, both because of my own personal experiences and because of what I've seen happening in the world today.”





“Memory Apparatus (Newspaper)” likewise resonates, especially in these uncertain times. The framed newspaper pages have had all their words painstakingly cut out, making them hollow ghosts of their former selves. “I don't think there's one piece in the show that I feel most strongly about. I think they all contribute to the thinking behind the show in different ways, and represent different aspects of this exploration of memory,” said Camacho. “[But] perhaps the one that feels most resonant in the context of the Philippines is the series titled ‘Memory Apparatus (Newspaper)’ because it was created from a local national daily newspaper, but I think that the ideas explored in these works aren't limited to any specific place, person, or context. I like to think that these works have broad relevance, addressing ideas that are both extremely personal and broadly cultural, both local and global.”


We go through life mostly ticking through to-do lists and—occasionally—filing away significant moments in our minds. Details may fade over time, but isn’t the ephemeral nature of memory the very thing that makes it more precious?



Memento Obliviscere runs until February 18 at MO_Space Gallery, 3/F MOs Design, B2 Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. For more information, visit MO_Space on Facebook.

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