Agfamoviechrome A 40 1993
DuPont Superior 4 1967
Kodak 500T 1993
Orwo Chromut 15 1984
The closing credits of to forget retrospectively propose an alternative interpretation, as the formula-like notation specifies the analogue, already expired Super-8 and 16mm film material that Lydia Nsiah recorded on. Through this application beyond the recommended expiration date, blanks appear, surprising lapses occur, and spots on the developed negative are visible that have transferred to the digitized positive. The colors of the images are strangely faded as though the recording had likewise occurred long ago in the past. Sometimes the light-sensibility of the material has shifted so that only color fields in beige, blue, and white remain; then at times, the sea or a bit of sky is still recognizable.
The meaning of remembering and memory culture has been a theme — not only of cultural studies — for quite some time. As a result, meanwhile, the issue of storage on appropriate media is increasingly posed: server cloud or analogue material in an underground storage unit? What and how much has actually already been lost in the process of copying and digitizing? What is the significance of that for a Western-centered culture that is desperately concerned with the archiving of data and things?
Lydia Nsiah approaches this complex issue using the means of artistic-research, in that she draws on a familiar setting. Based on the genre of the "travel film," she makes recordings that seem as though already written into collective memory: a journey through a Mediterranean landscape: birds at a waterway; steam rising from volcanic rock; the skyline of a modern metropolis.
However, through Nsiah´s twisted camera perspectives and the musician Jejuno´s score, the images are denied a common interpretation. The repetitive drone sound refers to the complexity of it all, as suddenly, inscribed in these images is something uncanny, something heralding the no-longer existing or no-longer-visible, the fear and simultaneous chance of forgetting. (Claudia Slanar)
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt
english print version