Not that long ago, I planned an exhibition with my friend Jacqueline Kaulfersch – the same friend with whom I held the exhibition Unter die Haut/Beneath the Skin. This time we didn’t wanna show paintings we’ve been working on but went a more conceptual route.
The Value of Memories
We wanted to deal with the value of memories and therefore planned to showcase objects that have incredibly strong meanings for us. For each item, we wanted to reveal the story behind it and give a selling price. It wasn’t easy to find prices for the objects that are so infinitely valuable to us but seem inconspicuous to visitors. Our memories would have been bought with the exhibits – at least that’s the concept.
Unfortunately, we have never found an appropriate gallery to display this exhibition, but maybe there will be a place for it in the future. In the event that this never happens, I would still like to ask a few central questions that came to our minds while creating this concept…
What are memories worth?
Can memories be valued?
How much would you have to be paid for the memories of your first love?
Of your childhood?
A few days ago I was thinking about this concept again and remembered something I wanted to exhibit. A glazed clay vase from Greece. My parents bought it for me and my former boyfriend and told a story from the artist: The vase symbolizes a love relationship and as long as the vase is intact, so is the relationship. When it breaks, the love breaks too.
I have taken good care of the vase over the years (and have absolutely never used it), so it is still intact. When we developed the concept for this exhibition, I attributed a very high price to this vase. When I thought about that a few days ago, I had to laugh about the price. Today, I would prefer to get rid of the vase. Maybe have it be stolen from the exhibition. It lost value to me, no matter how valuable it once seemed to be.
I wonder why we forget things that used to be important to us, how memories can lose value and whether everything in our lives is pretty irrelevant when you look at it over time.
Even if it were possible, I’d hate to sell memories. But I think my brain does a pretty good job at deciding which memories are valuable and which ones are better worth forgotten.
Title photo: Sarandy Westfall