Amy Flaherty
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Journal Project
In my current work, I re-experience the sites of childhood family vacations guided by my mother’s journals recalling the trip. My mother requested, before her death in 2006, that her ashes be spread within all the places our family traveled together. I wrote over two hundred pages recalling my own ventures in the United Kingdom recreating the family trip experienced during childhood. I preserve objects collected during my stay by placing them in hand constructed boxes and books.
Through documentation, I investigate how time, history and space influence the perception of an environment. I transport not only to a place I traveled to as a kid but to an alternative time when my family was whole. I am confronted by diverging viewpoints including my own memories as a child, my mother’s written words and photography, historical information and my present memories. I recapture my family’s history in forms that may be true, misinterpreted or forgotten depending on who is asked and when.
As I learn more information through my practice, I change as a person and narrator of the journal in this long term endeavor. Some thoughts and information written down differ from my current recollection. This scares me. I have proof right here in my own hand that I do not remember accurately. How can I preserve my family and history if my documentation is wrong or always changes?
This library compartmentalizes my memories . I form an autobiographical lexicon in which I can merely look up forgotten details of my identity. However vastly detailed this catalogue of personal history, it still lacks information. I desperately try to remember my mother and the time my family spent together but it is not good enough. Boxing up objects from the trip releases me from the responsibility of remembering.