A photograph makes a dead moment alive and vivid again, provoking feelings of nostalgia, of regret, of joy and of sadness, often all at the same time. Memories, however, are not fixed or frozen like a photograph, but are transformed, disassembled and reassembled with every act of recollection. Remembering is an imaginative reconstruction, built out of the relation of our attitude towards a whole active mass of organised past reactions or experience. Photographs can, however, serve as a memory prompt and the more vague and abstract the image, the more an act of imagination and storytelling takes place in the viewer. When I decided to begin animating my images, this understanding left me in something of a dilemma, as by animating my images I felt that they would perhaps lose some of the particular qualities offered by the still image. In film, the audience is often manipulated by the director and carried along with the ‘flow’ of the moving image, unlike a still image which offers time for contemplation and introspection. I was left searching for a way to bring the still and the moving together: How to create an animation which might be a moving fragment, lending my work a more immersive, film-like experience, potentially also with sound, whilst retaining the pathos of a photograph. If a still image is too ‘fixed’ to truly represent the nature of memory and a film too loose to hold it, what then of a ‘still moving’ image? One of the key elements of memory for me within my practice is the representation of the sometimes persistent memory which replays inside our minds on an endless loop. This animation is from 'The Echo Collector' and is a 'still-moving image' inspired by the idea of persistent memory. Playing on a continuous, hypnotic loop, it flickers like an old movie, the image shifting and changing and repeating over and over. I have recently shown this animation within an immersive installation space which acts as a ‘stage set’ into which an audience can enter. To find out more and to view the installation click on Installation on the menu at the top of the page.
The Echo Collector
ⓒ Lisa Wrench Illustration 2017/All rights reserved.