This lecture on memory was really insightful. It helped me to break down memory and look at it in a different and more complex way. Memory is produced through discourse.
We spoke about the fact that ‘Collective memory’ is produced by objects, dates, people, and places. Bits and pieces that we collect together to remember particular events. The art in collecting memrabelia from historic and personal events is an example of how ‘Collective memory’ works.
The idea of ‘Protheses memory’ is very relevant in this modern society which is predominantly controlled by technology. Instead of heavily relying on our memories to recollect things we use social media, note pads, books, phones, etc. to help us out. If the past 10 years is anything to go by we can be safe in assuming that there will be more technology which is designed to help us to think and remember.
Jameson ‘Postmodernism’ he believed that memory connects us to a sense of history. It also believed that ‘Pastiche’ which is a recreation of history/ future or present mainly used for entertainment and ‘Nostalgia’ don’t reflect memory in its full totality. Things tend to be fake and lacks realism when you enter the realms of ‘Pastiche’ and ‘Nostalgia’. Postmodernism also opens up the question of what the real truth really is.
Collective memory opens us up to the idea that memory is not always an individual thing. It relies heavily on social groups, family and friends, and your surroundings. Pierre Nora speaks about how groups are able to create collective memories by focusing on particular dates, people, places, and objects. Maurice Halbwachs said ‘Our personal memories can not be untangled from our social context within a group’. Collective Memory (1925). This notion is very interesting. I’m not sure I completely agree with his theory 100% I feel like there are some memories which can be detached from our social group.
In our seminar groups we got given a task to gather pictures to what represent what Jameson meant by ‘Pastiche’, ‘Historicism’, and ‘Nostalgia’.
This is a picture I photographed of one of my sisters cakes. She started baking to past time a year or so ago but now she has begun to make money from it doing all sorts of bookings. This client in particular wanted her cake to look like a Tiffany’s box. Even though it is not the real thing it is a well constructed representation which holds no major importance but the fact it is what the client wanted. This is similar to ‘Pastiche’ as it is a copy or representation of something. It is not completely accurate, and does look fake to an extent but it is for the entertainment of the client and her guests so it doesn’t necessarily matter. This image has protheses qualities as it helps us to remember the brand of Tiffany’s.
This is a special monument in Moncloa, Madrid. I took this picture during my placement year. It is named the ‘The Arco de la Victoria’. It is a very historic, and significant landmark in Madrid. It was built after a civil war in 1936 which was won by Francoist troops. The arch stands at 40 meters in height which enables it to look over the heart of Moncloa, a truly beautiful district in Madrid. This relates to Jameson thoughts on historicism, as this arch is such a tourist attraction and a phenomenon which has been recreated and has inspired so many other landmarks. The history of this landmark lives on forever and has an influence in today.