The concept of history plays a fundamental role in human thought. It invokes notions of human agency, change, the role of material circumstances in human affairs, and the putative meaning of historical events. It raises the possibility of “learning from history.” And it suggests the possibility of better understanding ourselves in the present, by understanding the forces, choices, and circumstances that brought us to our current situation.
Little, Daniel, “Philosophy of History”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

REvision of Memories

Concept Background

Revision of Memories was a title of the article I have recently read in Politika. It was about rewriting history and rehabilitation of war criminals, casting shadows on national heroes and other issues that are often manipulated by politics and media. About the same time, while I was browsing my family photos, I found pictures of my parents when they started their relationship in 1972.

In March 1972. in Yugoslavia happened smallpox outbreak. It was the last outbreak of smallpox in Europe. Coincidently year 1972. and 2020. are both marked as Year of The Rat in Chinese zodiac, and in 2020. we had a COVID 19 pandemic outbreak. When I asked my parents about the smallpox outbreak, they said that they didn’t worry since they all got vaccinated.

I started exploring circumstances and life perspectives that my parents had 40 years ago. My father worked his whole life as an officer in aviation and my mother was a nurse.

Since the media are often rewriting history, I got the idea to recreate my family history:  to use their photos and position them in the new setup.

I started to arrange photos using compositions of David Hockney’s paintings. In 1972.  Hockney finished  the painting  Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)  so it was relevant from the historical perspective, it was painted at the same time the photos of my parents were taken.

Creative Direction

I imagined this project as a collection of short looped videos that would show infinite walk through “digital sculpture garden”. I want to play with 3D space, light and textures, and to use the effect of photographic negatives in order to represent glimpses of the past- revisited, revisioned and recreated.

The “air” is filled with light and particles are floating. Sounds are discrete, complementary and they fill the space of the Gallery. Water is moving, wind is gently waving palm trees, entering the room and moving flowers on the table. The viewer is revisiting some moments in time, but narrative is absent like the one we have to construct when we look at the painting. By introducing text in the image, we are imposing the narrative to the viewer, interfering with the viewer’s cognition and aesthetic sensation.

Sketches and Art Board

Video Test - Composition

First Composition

Fist Video composition was a bit crowded with lot of text and content. Later I have decided to go with clean, double portraits.

Background music is from audio library.

Copyright © 2021 Contraart
Polymedia Artist Katarina Kaplarski Vukovic