Issue 3: The Rhetoric of Memory

letter_jpInterventions, Volume 03, Issue 03: The Rhetoric of Memory

Memory only exists as a reflection on and meaning made out of the past from the vantage point of the present. As such, they are always already mediated—the objective past they allegedly point to come to exist in the present only as distorted, selected, and redacted fragments. As Patrick Ffrench states in his reading of Deleuze’s notion of time, the recovery of the essence of the past—memory—is “not linked to any present that has been, but is a more original past, the pastness of a past which has never been present.”

In an age of increasing digital documentation, sharing, and archiving, an examination of the ever-evolving mediation of memories is pertinent. Histories exist in the collective minds of contemporary societies, produced from personal recollections, cultural narratives, political myths and willful acts of forgetting. Ramifications of the old Imperialism still haunt the colonized, while daunting encounters in the age of global capitalism rearrange the memory from the past. From traces of personal history, physical imprints of memory, the trauma of war, to rising income inequality, and the treatment of the mentally ill, the artists and architects discussed and presented in this issue delve into the complex and layered nature of human memory, both within the confines of our own consciousness and the impact left on our environment.

Kathleen Langjahr, Chaeeun Lee, and Amanda Ryan

New York, July 2014


Bloom: New Public Memorializations of Mental Health History by Gabriel Cheung

ARTIST PROJECT: Delinquent History by Ryan Ferko

ARTIST PROJECT: this side up by Ioana Manolache

Practicing the Intellectual Martial Arts or, The Wrecked Gestures of Liberation: Hito Steyerl’s November by Pernille Lystlund Matzen

ARTIST PROJECT: The Portrait Series by Matthew Morrocco

Unlimited Edition by Leah Moskowitz

ARTIST PROJECT: Frontiere by Jean-Pierre Mot

Ray Johnson: Artist as Archivist by Gillian Pistell

Rebuilding Beirut: From Ruin to Simulacrum by Amanda Ryan

The Memory of the Nigerian Civil War in the Art of Obiora Udechukwu by Rebecca Wolff

ARTIST PROJECT: Antipode Chess by Tuguldur Yondonjamts