recto/verso – issue 03 part II ∙ collective memory


recto/verso – issue 03 part II ∙ collective memory is online


We need to remember in order to belong. Without being conscious of ‘our’ past we cannot build a cultural identity. Bearers of such memory, found in images (Aby Warburg’s notion of social memory), texts, icons, landscapes, monuments (Jan Assman’s cultural memory) or in social interactions (Maurice Halbwacks’ collective memory) all have the same status. They are shared by a group of people who created  a collective – a number of human beings who feel they belong to the same history and tradition. These few concepts enumerated above differs also within a time frame and unite vestiges discernible in physical and mental landscapes.

As a natural follow up of the topic of ruins, recto/verso presents issue 03 part II, focused on the traces of common memory which might concentrate on a recent or historical and mythical past. Starting from our previous interrogations on non-places, Giulia Bortoluzzi wonders about the necessity to forget rather than remember, in relation to the experience of humans in the city. A selection of images of the city of Milan in the 60s and today, shows the distance of time and the construction of collective memory on the surface of places. Michela Alessandrini contributed with a presentation of her recent curatorial project – a performance Marcellina held in cooperation with a Mexican artist Humberto Duque. Anna Tomczak proposes a simple exercise to check collective memory shaped by media. Continuing her research on the virtual reality she prepared an interview with Olia Lialina, one of the first net artist and a researcher on the Internet collective memory visible in GeoCities leftovers. Finally Céline Notheaux, starting from Gestalt Theory, creates a connection between mechanisms of compression that make collective our individual memory and those that make a still real image a digital one. In addition recto/verso recommends watching Goodbye, Lenin and to read Museum of Innocence by Orham Pamuk.


. Forgetting: the true vanity of contemporaneity
.where were you when…
.in conversation with Olia Lialina
.fucking jpeg by Céline Notheaux
.to read: Museum of Innocence by Orham Pamuk
.to watch: Good Bye, Lenin (2003)

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