To what extent can a photograph alter our perceptual experience of the past? In her series ‘Screen Memories’, Verónica Losantos brings back her early childhood memories to examine the relationship between photography and the act of remembering.
text by Marina Trancoso
“I feel surprised at forgetting something important; and I feel even more surprised, perhaps, at remembering something apparently indifferent” – Sigmund Freud
In 1899, Sigmund Freud introduced a revolutionary idea that questioned the historical accuracy of our early memorial records. He coined the term “screen memories” to a particular kind of childhood memory that do not emerge into consciousness at the time of recall but are formed at that specific time. As Freud explained, when a “screen memory” is constructed, our mind deliberately selects and uses an early, irrelevant scene as a screen for a psychically significant later event. Deeply charged with symbolic meaning, these mnemic images are striking, uncanny, and their function is to conceal rather than to reveal the actual content of the psychic event. Paradoxically, it is as if the memory was trying to record and hide itself all at once.
In her series ‘Screen Memories’, Verónica Losantos addresses Freud’s theory and seeks to find out to what extent can photography mimic our mind and create, alter or even distort our memorial impressions. Her photographs narrate a personal conflict with her father’s absence, inquiring into the relationship between camerawork and the private act of remembering. What happens to the moments that were not recorded in pictures? What happens when we look at a picture depicting someone who has become almost a total stranger? Can we change our own feelings towards an absent person through photographs? To answer these questions, Verónica staged her early memories of her father and consciously manipulated the contents of her past. Drawing on her personal story, she cleverly used photography to create imagined encounters, filling the gaps in her own biography and the void of fatherlessness. Yet if we frame her practice in Freudian terms, as the title suggests, one question remains open: what are the actual psychic contents hidden behind her images?
‘Screen Memories’ upcoming exhibitions:
04.05.17 – 04.07.17
at CFD Barcelona
Carrer d’En Fontrodona, 31
08004 Barcelona, Spain
Opening: 4th May, 8 pm
13.07.17 – 06.08.17
European Photography Award Exhibition
at Fondazione Fotografia Modena
via Giardini 160, Modena, Italy
Opening: 13th July, 6 pm
Verónica Losantos, born 1984 in Logroño, Spain, studied Audiovisual Communications & Media at Burgos University, Spain, and Photography & Design at the Lette-Verein School in Berlin, Germany. Her work deals with subjects concerning memory, the passing of time and its traces, as well as the relation between past and present and processes of change. She uses photography as an explorative process, often examining personal experiences, and works mainly with analog film. Verónica’s projects have been exhibited internationally and won several international Photography Prizes and Awards, such as the Kunstpreis Fotografie Berlin Brandenburg Lotto 2016, the Art Photo BCN in 2016 and the Talents Contest by C/O Berlin in 2016. She is currently working as a freelance photographer in Berlin and pursuing a Master Degree in Photography & Design at the FH Bielefeld. You can find out more about her work here.
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