Return to sender
Following on from a previous work, Six memories of my youth, I decided to change the vessel into a format that would allow me to share the memory with others but would also allow me to retain ownership of the content.
I considered rubber stamping the memories onto stacks of paper. I liked the idea of the souvenir as transforming something that was private into something for the public which becomes private again when the viewer takes the souvenir home.
I eventually decided to put the texts onto envelopes in the area where the return address would go so that theoretically my memory could be returned to me.
After comments from the previous critique I decided to make these memories generic and very short only taking the essence of the event to share.
The final installation involved 800 envelopes. Each set of 20 envelopes was rubber stamped with the same phrase so that there were 40 different phrases in total. They were randomly shuffled so that anyone picking one up would be aware that there were more choices. The envelopes were stacked in two columns opposing each other. The two starting phrases were “Fell on a cactus” and “Hated Someone”...one phrase more likely to have been experienced by the viewer than the other.