The memory of a human being is, in fact, subjective, fallible, and vulnerable. On the other hand, the memory of a machine, or simply that of a computer, is considered to be consistent, resilient, and hard-wired. This new type of memory quickly infiltrated our lives by sharing the burden of memorising everything. As a consequence, we no longer rely on our own memory. Indeed, we tend to give more credit to the memory of a machine than to our own.
Does this mean that our ability to remember has become an obsolete skill?
The artists featured in this exhibition consider the act of remembering to be a sacred activity that not only distinguishes humans from machines, but also an important trait that makes us who we are. In their works, they embrace the subjectivity and vulnerability of human memory by examining its various phases: remembering, imagining, and forgetting.
In the exhibition "Memory Card: The Perk of Being Able to Remember", which takes its name from one of the works featured, the artists explore the act of remembering in the most human way.
By reason of her visual impairment, Bora Kim has developed a distinctive way of remembering. Instead of a visual image, her memories are stored in three-dimensional space. In her work, "Carte à Mémoire," the artist uses her sense of touch to trace back her memory. By slowly caressing a memory foam, her vague memory comes back to life for a second, then fades away. For the apex exhibition, the artist will present a live performance including public participation to experiment on how to keep memories from fading.
Jiyoung Son has been working with postcards picked up on the street. Fusing with his own memories, the artist reconstructs the fragments of lost memories and gives them a whole new narrative. In his work, "Bonjour Madame, Monsieur Luro," a collection of abandoned postcards is digitally archived, arranged in his own way, following an algorithm written by the artist himself. By doing so, the artist revives forgotten memories into vivid ones. In this upcoming exhibition, the artist will create a video with a narrative ASMR based on his collection of abandoned postcards, to expand his method of bringing dead memories to life.
Dasom Oh, who is particularly interested in the use of medium, utilises grains of rice to shape them into a layer of cells. The artist believes that memory can also be stored in the body, particularly in a cell. By creating a skin made of rice, the artist challenges common knowledge about the temporariness of human memory and scrutinises the possibility of a persistent and eternal memory. The artist?s new project will involve a large-scale installation of a rice-made-skin, exploring how memories can be engraved on the human body.
In a time where our memory is so undermined, this exhibition is hereby to praise the perk of being able to remember as a human, albeit that our memory can be subjective, fallible, and vulnerable; seeking beauty in its imperfection.
*The text above was submitted to apexart's 2022-23 INTL Open Call, and rated by over 700 jurors. Any specific artists mentioned are unconfirmed and subject to change.
Sol Kim is an independent curator born in Seoul and based in Paris. She maintains a deep interest in contemporary art intertwined with the issues of diaspora and identity. She holds a MA in Cultural mediation from Sorbonne Nouvelle University and a BA in Art history from Panthéon Sorbonne University.