The past plays an important role in my creative process. My role as an artist is to dig through layers of history like an archaeologist in the attempt to recover the loss of collective memory. The process of forgetting is inevitable, especially in the contemporary times when people are concerned with the new. The idea of the project represents culture as the foundation of civilization, symbolized by the use of fired and un-fired clay in the construction of an archaeological site in the likeness of an archetypal library of ceramic books.
I have chosen to reference books because they are historic symbols of knowledge and collective memory. The books from the Archaeology of Memory Series are symbolically left unwritten to suggest the absence, forgetting and to inspire the viewer to imagine what they may contain. Books are symbols, instruments of memory. From the beginning of history, there has been a strong connection between words and clay, as early forms of writing were on clay tablets.
The notion of historic time and permanence, apparent in the ceramic books, appears in contrast with the fragility of culture and knowledge. In the historical context of the 20th century when ideological and totalitarian systems have led to the mass-destruction of books considered reactionary, the installation brings to attention the human need to save the past through an archaeology of memory.
Archaeology of Memory - Books of Fire