“It does not seem to me, Austerlitz added, that we understand the laws governing the return of the past, but I feel more and more as if time did not exist at all, only various spaces interlocking according to the rules of a higher form of stereometry, between which the living and the dead can move back and forth as they like, and the longer I think about it the more it seems to me that we who are still alive are unreal in the eyes of the dead, that only occasionally, in certain lights and atmospheric conditions, do we appear in their field of vision.” W.G. Sebald
What is it that drives us to collect and categorize in order to conserve a human past? A central to theme in my work is a deep interest in photographs, and how the constructed image from different times still lives on in the way we see, read and create images today. I like to play with the complexities of narrating history through photographs and documents, and the resulting work is often one that merges narrative methods common to diaries, scrapbooks and encyclopedias. This type of approach to narrative creates an archive consisting of altered historically meaningful documents and artifacts that merge and contradict personal memories, while both serve as evidence of a time past. The images I want to create are discreet, silent and transparent, always hinting at something that is not in the image, not in the object, but something that appears in the tension that is present in the image.
My previous work Grey Cobalt, was an investigation into the relationship between the act of mourning and the process of looking, remembering and creating photographs. Using archival images, objects, documents and binding these into a narrative with my own photographs, I wanted to question what were the limitations and possibilities of the photographic object as a laborer of memory?
By creating images, I want to open a dialogue with the viewer as to what is fact, fiction, real or fake, and does it matter at the end of the day, when is history not a mash-up of them all anyhow, created by someone in order to deliver a specific history and a specific world view?
Felicia Honkasalo is a visual artist based in Helsinki, Finland. She is also part of the collective Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen.
Image courtesy of the artist
- Mountain Ash
- Dark Horse
- Black Barn
- Near the Fall
- Sketch No2
- Fixing an Azimuth
- Otto Trustedt