Invisible Memories


Invisible Memories is a sequel to my 2012 project Unseen. Unseen consists of images from two places—New York City, until recently my home, and Kawamata, Fukushima, where my grandmother has lived all her life. In this work I juxtaposed scenes from the two locations with reference to both personal history and larger historical events, in particular the lingering uncertainty following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. As the memory of that event fades, so do my memories of New York. Unseen examines the parallels and differences between those forms of memory and probes their meaning on both a personal and a social level.

Invisible Memories carries this theme forward in an even more radical way. In this project, images from New York and Kawamata are overlaid, creating a deeper sense of mystery and uncertainty within the individual pictures rather than simply between them. Each image appears twice combined with a different photograph. With repetition, some parts of the image are clarified while others that were previously visible can become obscured, inviting closer examination. Repetition can also summon a sense of déjà vu—the uncanny feeling that the viewer has been to this place and seen this scene before. The figures and images in the book may take on a strange familiarity that belies their varied origins and presentation.

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