Finally, we headed towards the final movement of the memory lab.
This final movement gave us a platform to choose and present any memory that somewhere pricked us. The only challenge that was incorporated within this movement unlike the others was – a collaborative work. Yes, we had this opportunity to know, explore and work with the art students of the University of Rhode Island where we had to collaborate our ideas and memory and produce work.
Well, for me the most exciting part of the collaboration was the introductory session where all the students from Srishti spoke to all the students from URI individually. The session was chaotic yet boastful at the same time. This was because we had to speak to each student individually for 5-10 minutes and decide the partner with whom we will be working with. The enthralling part of this meet was to connect with one person from the opposite end in just a few minutes.
After talking to them and knowing a bit about them, I decided to work with one of the students there. Both of us then teamed up with my peer and friend here at Srishti and commenced working on the collaboration.
Me and my friend were initially thinking of working with memories and technology. While we chatted and gained a little more knowledge about the type of work that the URI students were doing, we discovered that this memory collaboration was a part of their photography assignment.
Both of us here started brainstorming to come up with a concept that could engulf the memories of all three of us. After having discussions and exchanging a couple of e-mails, we three froze the topic for working on for this movement – childhood memories. The aspect that we chose to work on within childhood memories was ‘fun, sports and games’.
Both of us here at Srishti, had made it a point that if the work was a collaboration, it should look like one. For the same reason, we went about clubbing the memories of the three of us and producing an artwork. Philomena – our URI partner, had decided to work with the memory associated with her childhood toys. Likewise, my peer here derived her inspiration from the winning and participation in sports events at school and state level and my memory was inspired from a small game that me and my cousins had set up as a part of a ‘fun fair’ when I was a kid. My memory inspired me to think of the overall concept of our work – to peep through the memories. Peeping for the reason that whenever we trace back a memory or think about an event of the past, we never have a clear and complete picture about that event instantly. We always think about specific aspects of that memory. I intended to use the form of my memory as peepholes for viewing the memories of the past of my peer’s and Philomena’s.
We froze our idea of installation with the memories in the form of photo frames and digital flip book being peeped through the peep holes.
Well, it was fun to work as a group and create the installation. We managed to get the photographs from Philomena in time which were to be complied as a flip book to set up for the exhibition.
The day of the exhibition arrived. We installed our works exactly the way we had ideated. Well, after the work was installed in the gallery space, I encountered and concluded certain things about our work.
First of all, I liked my idea of peeping through the memories but felt that the structure that we had created could not justify the action of peeping. If at all the holes would have been smaller and lesser (opened), the action of peeping could have been achieved. It would have made the viewer more curious and inquisitive to peep into the memories.
Video of the photographs clicked by Philomena…
Secondly, I was not quite happy with the presentation. I felt that if at all the set up behind the holes could have been rendered a little more old visually, the whole setup could have worked out well. Certain elements like the trophies and the laptop didn’t add the touch and feeling of being old.
Lastly, I felt that if at all we would have got some quality time to discuss our collaboration with the URI students, things must have been better.
As this is the last segment of the memory lab, I discovered quite a few things about working with memories.
I discovered that memory is just a trigger or an inspiration of work. It is never possible to recreate the same memory the way it was.
I genuinely felt the lack and need of research in my works. I now am determined to work further with a prior research towards any kind of work.