aide-mémoire: footnotes (Part II)
In honour of our fifth year running, Barjeel Art Foundation presents the second installment of aide-mémoire, a show that highlights the multitude of stories that encompass an exhibition. Aide-mémoire, which translates from French as an aid for memory, centres on the ways in which we see, remember and record personal encounters. Many of the works featured envision different ways stories, whether they are our own or someone else’s, can be recorded and fictionalised through aesthetic creation. Some of these works envision the past, probe the present, while others also contemplate an uncertain future.
Opening in December 2014, the first installment of aide-mémoire was in part the beginning of an inquiry where we presented our visitors with a personal request. We asked each person to write down in notebooks what they saw and how each artwork affected them, or caused them to recall something familiar in their own lives. In this gesture, we wished to highlight not only the stories of the works on display but also those that largely go unseen, since our visitors often come and go quietly.
These notes have left us with what we would like to call footnotes, a multitude of side notes that have included vivid descriptions of works, personal stories, lists of words, books of poetry, drawings and scribbles, as well as empty pages. The notebooks serve as annotation; an aide-mémoire of a past exhibition in a changing gallery space. These footnotes comprise a series of ways viewers, who have set foot in Barjeel Art Foundation, have seen a collection of works, which in turn leaves us with a map of our own past made from a collection of personal views.