Taking notes is a common activity applicable to numerous sets of circumstances. We usually mark them down quite quickly and casually, sometimes to catch a fleeting thought or remind us to of something that needs to be said or done. They can be neat or messy, clear or incoherent, hand written or typed. Sometimes orderly and often chaotic, notes inevitably capture momentary observations and reflections that we seek to preserve at times unsuccessfully, for future reference.
The manner in which notes are recorded is unique to each note taker. Our exhibition entitled aide-mémoire, a French term that translates as an aid to memory often pertaining to notes, presents a collection of photographs, videos and sculptures that can elicit subjective responses from spectators. Many of the artists in this exhibition reference memories that are personal or collective, showing how they can be recorded or fictionalised through aesthetic creation.
A spectator’s response to a work of art often takes place in a moment of solitude when they first encounter a piece. By encouraging passive observation, many modern-day museum settings can typically leave the observer’s reaction to go unrecorded. We invite visitors to this exhibition to capture in one word or more on the notepads provided their immediate responses to some or all of the art objects they encounter.
These responses can include a description of what they see, what they think they see, and what it reminds them of. We will gather the individual encounters expressed in these notepads into an aide-memoire for the exhibition. The collection of exhibition narratives will in turn feature in and inform the vision of another exhibition in March 2015.