Mnemophobic – Katie Huckson


Mnemophobic – Katie Huckson

March 14 – March 17, 2013

Opening reception: Thursday March 14th,  7-9 pm
Artist talk: Thursday March 14th, 2pm

History is an inherent part of our identity; in that what we experience, whom we meet, and what we see and are told mold us. Yet our memories are like dreams in that we are rarely left with a complete recollection. Instead, we keep fragments of remembrance that retain emotional energy, and what we remember is often out of our control. This could be a frightening concept if we accept the idea that we are shaped by our lived histories.

People have individual means of attempting to collect and preserve the remains of past experiences. We organize our history (often unconsciously) in order to remember and relive, and we do so using essentially two things; narrative and imagery. Narrative can describe imagery just as imagery can suggest narrative. Myth and photography serve the purpose of preserving the past however they are inconstant. Myths innocently change in their retelling and video and photo degrade over time. History is fragile and requires upkeep, as do the mediums through which we attempt to document it.

Our memory can act as an archive from which to draw experience, it can also reveal selections of past we would be more comfortable dismissing. Forgetfulness, or the act of forgetting, is in fact a part of memory itself. We remember to breathe, unconsciously, just as we remember how to sleep or to forget. Both remembering and forgetting are hardwired into our functions and experience as human beings.

Mnemophobic was initiated by my interest in the current trend of simulate the appearance of aging, weathering, or effects of sunlight onto a recent digital photograph. Does the artificialized weathering of photographs symbolize the sentiment we want to attach to these moments?  Why would one want to superimpose a sense of nostalgia onto memories that aren’t even yet so distant? I question the notion of nostalgic thinking and whether this inclination towards things of the sentimental past was solely a social reaction to the uncertainty of current times, or rather a way to place fond memory into a category; a theoretical box of past experiences to be relived and revisited.

Through the consideration of these ideas I collected a number of images that could be rearranged to suggest their own stories.  The selections of images are from both personal family photos and external sources. I manipulated these chosen images through a variety of processes, scanning, drawing, tracing, painting, transferring and animating. In repetitively working with the same images, I’ve begun to develop a strange attachment and relationship to them, which imitates my relationship with memory. I find myself being careful with them, considering the relationships between the individual images and seeking to exaggerate the underlying feeling I perceive in them.

Through the process of transferring and manipulating these images I mimic, and exaggerate, how people compartmentalize memory into narrative in order to preserve associated feelings. Each individual work is a sort of mnemonic device used as a receptor of particular memories and fragments. The meaning of each image varies on a personal level, however by selecting rich images, from a local setting I aim to make the work accessible to many viewers.

I consciously enact the processes of preservation and degradation of images; driven both out of fear of loss and of being tied to an ungraspable history. Some fear memory, some don’t, some like myself fear both the loss of memory and the impact of history on our own identity. I hope, through the works, to achieve a sense of longing and commemoration.



Installation view, mnemophobic, 2013



nono, photo transfer and bleach on paper, 2013 (left), ada, photo transfer and bleach on paper, 2013 (right)



nono, photo transfer and bleach on paper, 2013 (left), ada, photo transfer and bleach on paper, 2013 (centre), SWAK, mixed media on panel, 2013 (right)



Installation view, mnemophobic, 2013



Overhead projector with transparencies to be arranged by viewers.



walkway, mixed media on panel, 2013 (left), choose, mixed media on panel, 2013 (right)



desimone/huckson, mixed media on paper, 2013



desimone/canaris, mixed media on paper, 2013



gran, photo transfer and bleach on paper, 2013 (left), corner to the block, photo transfer and bleach on paper, 2013 (right)



Installation view, mnemophobic, 2013



recollections, single channel video montage, 2013



 keepscape, lightbox, 2013