There are aspects of memories that we choose to remember, imagining small details that weren’t actually there, or bits that never really occurred, and perhaps now we rely too much on photography to help us make these moments more clear. Sally Mann (American, b. 1951) has expressed how looking at her photographs has not helped her to remember moments in her life, but how photography instead “impoverishes” the memory. Mann’s experiments with old methods of photography speak to her subject matter. Both are ephemeral yet physical, taking careful stock of time, moments passing and becoming memories – abstractions in the mind that could be physically represented in photographs – stolen from time that can never be experienced in the same way. Memories are long, changing, complex… one picture in reality is insufficient to recall, either imaginatively or realistically, what really occurred.
By Alexandra Gilliams / Via XIBT Magazine