1. the act of recalling something from memory; the ability to remember
2. something remembered; a memory
The Collective is our title for an exhibition taking place in May as part of the Fringe Arts Bath. The title was chosen to reflect the contents of the exhibition, which as yet have not been decided, but which we know will be in the realm of tactile ephemera, everyday obsessions, observations, curios, stuff and things and objects and art or not-art. It will be a collective experience of the minutiae that mean something to someone; once presented and re-contextualized within the art form, the purpose is to celebrate and indulge in other people’s enthusiastic meticuli and love of the specific.
In this blog we are developing and exploring what it is that takes our fancy – what we amass and care about, or just collect randomly as we pass along through life. A bus ticket can draw me back to a moment in my life as much as a photograph. Each item I have encompasses a memory – hence recollection.
A diary is a powerful collection – the writer from the future remembers their past, which as time relentlessly moves forward, becomes a distant long ago moment. Roland Barthes sees a photograph of his dead mother when she was a little girl and cries. She is dead; even as a young girl frozen in the emulsion of an image she has passed on – she is ‘already dead’.
As we write our diaries or collect our life in detritus or things, we our shaping the memory of who we were. When a house is cleared, a life is thrown away. The act of selecting and presenting this past becomes us, and by this, we are our stuff.
In time, this show will be forgotten, the exhibitors and participants, the curators and the visitors will be long dead and yet the show will exist in whichever form it survives. As part of the Fringe Arts Bath catalogue, in a digital archive, on a wall, in a cupboard, under a mound of earth – somewhere there will be a record of The Collective.
We are already collected.