Leafing through old photo albums, faded memories slip off the pages; the crumbled, cracked glue no longer keeps yours and those of strangers locked in place. No certainty of who the people are, where the photos were taken. The truth is like a parchment sheet covering the black-and-white photographs. Milky and blurry, there is room for individual interpretation.
Monika Zobel und Claudia Grabowski entered this space by collecting strangers‘ photographs at flea markets across Germany and in foreign countries, some of them as old as a hundred years. In our joint project, we began to reinvent the stories behind these photographs, to rewrite their histories, because the people that once remembered were long gone.
Micro pieces, poems, letters, postcards all served the purpose to reimagine the past. While these texts are our own interpretation of strangers‘ lives, their relationships, parties, vacations, births, deaths etc., they are also a cumulative story that has been passed on from one generation to the next, with every retelling becoming something else, something more imagined.
Each photo is unique and yet strangely familiar–the kind of photo one might haved stumbled across in the attic or basement of a relative’s house.
Nabokov wrote in Speak, Memory (cursive), „I witness with pleasure the supreme achievement of memory, which is the masterly use it makes of innate harmonies when gathering to its fold the suspended and wandering tonalities of the past.“
Memory does not rely on truth or facts. Our own personal memories are constantly reshaped and -imagined, always in flux, but always attached to certain motifs and the somewhat fanciful, magical. We tried to capture these motifs and harmonies in our texts, whether true or false.
See here: https://www.instagram.com/verinnerung/