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family archives (12).jpg


Lethe, or oblivion, is a concept that constantly concerns people. Indisputable memories weaken with time, but the causes may not concern the time itself, but the original memory imprint which happens to undergo some alteration of its nature. An important role in the existence of oblivion is played by the development of interference from information from previous or subsequent experiences. In other words, it becomes possible to destroy the retrieval of a mnemonic, due to the presence of similar or related mnemonics. This collection of pictures from my family archives resembles the passing of time and the damage it causes to our memories. These family photos have gained a second layer from the destruction of time and external factors. Through these changes, new pictures are created and new meanings are given to them. This process resembles the alternation of mnemonics in the human brain and consciousness mentioned above.

This project is inspired by some conclusions from my theoretical research on family archives. Family pictures are mementoes that constitute a "triggering" of memory. However, although photos are supposed to help us preserve memories as much as possible, they surprisingly seem to do the exact opposite. Over time, memories fade and are replaced by photographs, as we refer to them for information about people and times gone by. The fear and need to negotiate with oblivion and death is the source of the strong desire to create these archives. Thus, contemporary memory can be characterised as highly "archival", in the sense that it "rests absolutely on the materiality of the trace, on the immediacy of recording and on the visibility of the image". (Pierre Nora)

Special thanks to Christofors Michos, Achilleas Michos, Christos Michos and Christos Apostolou for collecting and providing these archives.

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