‘The Mind on Repeat’ is a visual representation of the mind of someone whose memory has collapsed or is no longer functioning the way it used to. Through this project I aimed to create a more emotional response to an area so complex through the case of my grandfather who has Alzheimer’s disease.
The malfunctions of the brain, processes of deterioration, destruction and repetition, are usually understood in an objective way, through medical data analysis. Here, I have attempted to achieve an inevitably subjective exploration of these processes through a representation of the fabric of a memory, tracing some of the threads of what is lost and what remains.
Visually, this film symbolises the inevitable deterioration of the mind, the passing of time and ways of encapsulating and holding onto memories. The melting ice sculpture revealing a soldier links specifically to a memory my grandfather still has, his years in the National Service, one of his only long term memories that still remains. The loop of the film and audio emulates the repetitive nature of a deteriorating memory.
Focussing on repetition of text and material, this piece attempts to understand the repetition of an activity such as reading the newspaper. Having read Luis Bunuel’s chapter on memory in his book My Last Breath, I found the image of reading and re-reading something over and over but having no understanding that you’ve read it before quite poetic. The concept that within all the complexities of the mind, the simple mechanics of reading are still present but without the retention of what's been read.
A sense of entrapment in one's own mind can be felt by everyone, particularly in this time where we have been given time to think and pause in our lives. Yet with someone who is unable to recall memories that shaped their life or make new memories, this sense of entrapment is multiplied. The letters hanging in the cage signify a time that is now distant and irretrievable.
Final studies of deterioration, tarnishing the memorabilia using methods of destruction inspired by the work of Cornelia Parker.