What about a memory, if anything, makes up an identity?  What does it mean to lose a memory, and what does it take to learn to forget?  How mutable is a recollection, and what makes a thought 'real'?  Who are you right now?  Can a memory be shared, copied?  To what extent?  Is it possible to grow by means of regression?  How do we remember slowly?

'Mnemonic Mercury' is an exhibition of color-film photography by Bradley Verhelle exploring what it means to forget and asks how much we can concede while maintaining personal identity.  Twelve color-film photographs dry-mounted on aluminum plates line the walls of the gallery, each a visual window into a memory and identity.  


At the far end of the gallery is an animated projection comprised of 32 color-film images.  By procedurally generating images between each of the 32 original analogue frames, a sequence of 32, then 64, 128, 256, and so on until until the projection takes a fluid form.  At the surface level, this process of generating images between images seems to dilute the original content (or memory) of the work.  Only a fraction of the information presented here can be considered 'original'.  In this way the work echoes the profound and bizarre method of memory storage and access.  False-frames are rendered from false-frames, but it hardly feels adequate to dub this memory 'false'.  The distinction between 'generated' and 'original' becomes so blurred that the artist may struggle to pick out which frames dovetail their generated counterparts.  The resulting film therefore holds with it a sense of authenticity in the face of its clearly distorted, uncanny, and often entirely absent or unrealistic facial expressions.  


The projection and frames question the immutability of our pasts and, more importantly our identities.  By reinventing our expectations and definitions of identities,  it is expected that we can discard and better-manage the emotions we tie to the process of forgetting, among which fear is prevalent.  This reinvention and redefining can be seen as the meditive act of 'preparing for and/or learning to forget.'  

Body of Work