It could be said that our life, consists many times of a constant balance between thoughts that we long to forget and memories we wish to remember forever. To erase and destroy things appears to be as significant to human existence as remembering them: from putting away what someone offered us once, to toppling a politician's statue that for years or decades stood on a public square. Finding ourselves either burning love notes and deleting jpegs, or toppling statues and protesting on the streets, is intrinsically linked to a previous wish to remember or to be remembered. To hide away things inside boxes, to bury them or to destroy them with no trace, is an attempt at erasing something from history - whether our personal history, or a national one. The feeling and the intention are the same; it's the scale thatchanges. Precisely because of these shared experiences, we allsympathize and understand the feeling of wanting to forget, as a solution to overcoming a traumatic event.
Following Wikihow's steps on how to forget, first task is to cut off physical contact, followed by Step 2 - getting rid of what reminds one of that person, and Step 3 - removing him or her from one's electronic life. In other words, put away and eliminate any reminders of that person, whether a photo on Facebook or a memorial on a square. But what the WikiHow to do list appears to undermine, is the immaterial aspect of remembrance. One can delete, erase, cut, get rid, remove, abolish, burn, and topple all material and digital things that remind us of someone, but what to do with what we can't erase?
Maria Trabulo, Porto, Portugal
Living and working in Porto and Vienna. Currently conducting an artistic research on the materiality of remembrance in times of circulation, a study applied to technology and art practices with the support of Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, within the Art&Science department at the Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien. Has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Porto. Was the founding member of the collectives Expedição and Sintoma in Porto, artist run projects focused in sustaining cultural practices in times of economic crisis. Maria has sustained an active artistic practice both individually and collectively since 2010, with various solo and group exhibitions in Portugal and abroad. Has been awarded by relevant international institutions, and has participated as invited artist in several publications, lectures, seminars, and artist residencies.
For further information, please visit www.mariatrabulo.tumblr.com