Matter, Memory


Transient Nostalgia

Volume 8, Issue 01
September 23, 2022

On the day my grandmother was cremated, I kept thinking about her body and the transition she was about to undergo. Each hour I wondered whether she had become ash and if I would somehow know when that shift had occurred. Across the country and unable to be present with her, I began collecting all the dust I could find in my apartment. I built a camera to capture this dust on the surface of negatives, each fleck casting a shadow from the light of the lens.

I think of these images as self-portraits, grief rituals, and experiments. Our bodies are constantly shedding particles – hair, skin cells, nail filings – and those bits of matter become part of the atmosphere that surrounds us. In making these images of my own dust, I felt I might somehow find my grandmother again, or locate her plane of existence. Through this process, I started to question:

What is a body? Where can we find those who have passed? How can photographs speak to individual and communal grief? With this work, I am interested in not only honoring and remembering my grandmother but also in re-considering the ways that photographs can accumulate history and speak to intergenerational memory and loss.

Title: Untitled (nails)
Date: 2022

Title: Untitled (apartment dust I)
Date: 2022

Title: Untitled (burned leaves)
Date: 2022

Title: Untitled (hair)
Date: 2022

Title: Untitled (blinds)
Date: 2022