It is no longer genesis that we seek but instead the decipherment of what we are in light of what we are no longer.
-Pierre Nora, “Between Memory and History…”
The work in Ultra-Memento explores the function of the souvenir, and its capacity to elicit longing. I examined themes such as collecting, nostalgia, memory, and sentimentality to help understand our impulse to recall, capture, and re-live our experiences. Using objects as a locus for the recall and storage of memory, the work in Ultra-Memento acknowledges the value and impact of experience, while also questioning whether it is grounded in reality or fantasy.
Ultra-Memento is grouped into two distinct bodies of work; Souvenirs of Reflection and Souvenirs of Projection (SOP).
Souvenirs of Reflection operates as the embodiment or commemoration of an ambiguous, mythical past. Pieced together iconography of childhood recollections and the stories of my family; they encompass a layered familial history. Elements hidden in the works allude to the idealizations and constructed narratives that occur when the body is separated from the past. They are wearable containers for partially fabricated recollections and dreams; a way to explore the influence of recalled experience. As time and distance idealizes and distorts past narratives, these objects recall and authenticate the magic of the past. These souvenirs are built upon nostalgia while simultaneously generating it.
Souvenirs of Projection are a point of departure from the melancholic disposition of nostalgia; aiming to generate new dreams and fantasies of the near future. The works are bogus renditions of the sublime; inspired by the sentimental joy found in artificial landscapes and kitsch, and an alliance with a wildly aestheticized Millennial view of dreams and desires. They affirm the act of seeking enjoyment, conjuring enchantment, and gleeful self-delusion.
As jewelry, the works are portable devices which encourage the wearer to manifest and carry their fantasies, ideologies, and experiences. Experimental materials and techniques were combined with established fabrication methods in order to create jewelry that is simultaneously idiosyncratic and familiar, wild and controlled, surprising and predictable. Luminescent and dynamic, the works in Ultra-Memento embody a sublime, ambiguous experience that encourage wearers and viewers to correlate their own fuzzy memories or surreal imaginings, and enjoy their own illusion.