Pigeons (when you were gone), 2017


Kalya Ward

18 March – 15 April 2017


2 channel VHS, 180m, continuous loop

In order to keep a memory intact, to keep it safe, unsullied, unadulterated, one mustn’t remember at all.


As Daniela Schiller’s Reconsolidation Theory (2013) attests, every time that precious and precarious treasure is unwrapped and admired, it is rewritten anew. What one wraps back up and stows away is an approximate copy. Memory has shifted, some detail is lost, some bias revealed. Inextricably linked with, and altered by, the present, affecting the past. This memory exists temporally in both.

In remembering, one is within a continuous process of recollection, reconstructing the past in present terms. 

There is an alignment between analogue processes and the act of remembrance. Analogue recording is transformed each time it is played; it records the traces of its own passage, to the point of the obliteration of the content.

When witnessing a disappearing image we glean a sense of our own disappearance. 

A degrading image erases and writes in tandem, existing in the always-present. 

The disintegration of an analogous recording over time also pays witness to the decaying of the matter of memory; and the moving image exists as a ghost of the past, a haunting of the landscape, and a witness to the decaying of ourselves within (and without) time.