Four Directions of Memory
family photographs, writings, beeswax, artificial sinew, multi-track audio

Beeswax dipped scrolls line the walls like family histories in a Roman library balanced on frosted narrow plexiglass shelves.
Honey colored threads suspend torn photos, also saturated with wax, which hold and balance each other.
Sounds representing those of the four siblings’ voices emanate from speakers, panning and occasionally overlapping.

When my brother Jim was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January of 2008, I fully realized how much of what I had come to know about my family and my own history was retained and relayed by those older, yet intimately closest to me, my siblings. As I considered that a critical thread in the fabric of my memory and understanding was threatened, I organized a project with my three siblings.
I chose images from my inherited archive that I considered to be representations of key moments of my family – its history and personality – and conducted viewing and writing exercises with my siblings. Each of us viewed the same photograph separately and then endeavored to write everything we knew, remembered or imagined about that image or episode.  While we worked none of us knew what another was saying. As I received these writings I scanned, printed and rolled them into bound scrolls dipped in wax.
The stories were then recited and recorded, using my own voice and those of others in the roles of my siblings. These recordings were laid in multi-tracked and layered sonic tapestries, with occasional individual voices coming through clearly.

This project and installation is dedicated to my brother, Jim, who, up until his final days, continued to share our stories and his memories with me and to help me understand my relationship to others.