MA Studies > Fine art > Fine art alumnus > Ika Putranto

Ika Putranto

DIfferent Degree of Absence

Memory as the traces of the present can be related to representation, fragmented re-telling, and repetition. Every time memory is thought, it would come out differently, different fragments will emerge. Re-telling it all over again, somehow will create another version of history. Memory is the future of the past, as Paul Valery said.

I quoted this from the Present Pasts text by Andreas Huyssen :“But then Freud already taught us that memory and forgetting are indissolubly linked to each other, that memory is but another form of forgetting, and forgetting a form of hidden memory. “ Regarding this “hidden memory”, this is where emotion makes the memory very subjective. Which part of the memory is to be hidden or which part is to shown/remembered, is connected to the emotions dealt with that memory. There is a saying “ one hour with your loved ones, feels like a minute, a minute with your enemy, feels like an hour”. This is where the emotion and memory, also include the relativity. 

Memory can be comprehended as the death of the present. Every second passed, is becoming the death of each second and become the memory of the second that is passed. From here I conclude that memory can be thought as death. Connecting it to the notion of death, there are 3 kind of death. First is the death of the spark, it is when people has no desire to another in a relationship. Second is the death of the flesh, it is when someone is by definition has ceased of all biological functions that sustain a living organism. Third is the death of the name, it is when a person’s name is not spoken anymore in the world of the living, or anyone who know this person has already dead. These definition is the general definition of this idea. 

From this notion of death, I explore the degree of absence. Death can also be seen as the absence of life or the absence of present. Continuing what Freud said before, Andreas Huyssen asked “ is it fear of forgetting that triggers the desire to remember?”. So, it comes to the question, which lost is affect your emotion deeply, which memory do you want to remember? W.G.Sebald said “If they remained locked away, they would become heavier and heavier as time went on, so that in the end I would succumb under their mounting weight.” 

In Death of The Spark, I want to explore the memory of my obsession on breaking this “unwritten rules” which resulted in the lost of the spark in the relationship. How this “limited identity” affected me and my past relationship that was not within this “unwritten rules”, and how it ended. How the traces of the event affect me. (Also how I see myself within the constraints.)

In Death of The Flesh, I become curious with the memory that contained in the medium. What happen when the medium is gone. And what happen to the memory about the medium that still exist. I want to explore this notion of nothing exist forever. How memory play the part in the medium and the mortality of the medium.

In Death of The Name, I want to explore this notion, in the term of the faraway ancestor that makes us now but we already forget them. I want to explore this in the future after I figured out how it feels to lost the name. I start to collect used painting I found in flea market and relate them to this concept. Painting that made by someone who I don’t recognise the name, just a scribble of signature in the surface of the painting. I want to create something with these paintings I found.