I've been engaged in thoughts around what it means to create fictional histories and memories through objects. Scientists say that every time we recall a memory we are in fact re-creating that memory - altering it, making the memory more self-centered - while history, by some definitions, is the effort to establish a "true memory". So can a true history exist if no true memory can exist?
I have been working through this question by using invented narratives to create fictional artifacts. The narratives I create play a "Question and Answer" role in my process and dictate the markings made. For example, I may ask myself, "why is the paint peeling off the target?" and the answer, "the target was discarded in an area that later became the hangout for a group of teenagers. They harass the paint, throw bottles and rocks at it, marring the surface." This “Question and Answer” role of narrative is itself a parallel creative process; I am marring the piece as it coincides with the developing narrative. I weather, distress and ‚”age” the objects to make the viewer wonder how the object was used and what it went through before its placement in the gallery. However, it is not important that my narrative comes across to the viewer nor am I interested in fooling the viewer into thinking these objects are originals. I simply want to construct objects that viewers imagine as having a history - a history that never existed - while in the context of the gallery.
Consideration of materials occurs as I invent the object’s life and history. The materials are selected as a means to tell the story and chosen for their accessibility and workability. New materials, such as plywood, clue the viewer in to the modernity of the work and that they are on stage. These material clues support a fictitious narrative prompting the viewer to work through the story, their own invented narrative.