Memorial 3 is an iteration of my ongoing Memorial series which investigates the role of photography in constructing personal and historical narratives.
Memorial 3 takes Mt. Etna, an active volcano located in Sicily, as its subject. Mt. Etna, historically was a landmark for fishermen and sailors and has become somewhat of a cultural landmark across the seas for my family. Homer and Virgil wrote about both its fecundity and destructivity. Images of Mt.Etna proliferate carrying a fatalistic quality that comes near to the mood I experienced when developing a sense of cultural belonging through the experience of viewing family photographs and hearing stories of Sicily.
Photographic images frame human recollection and subjectivity within a temporal context, situating the viewer within the logic of a narrative history that contrasts ‘then’ and ‘now’. Using 720 still images taken from a live cam recording at Mt. Etna’s peak I try to introduce a threat to this rational logic through an ambiguity embedded in the institutional referent of the photographic landscape image. These images are projected onto an installation that resembles a worn out memorial with gaps, holes, flaccid and sagging materials and structures that obscure and reveal parts of an image. This construction aims to undermine finite interpretations and cohesive narratives, suggesting the existence of unknown and unknowable histories.
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