memoirs of sense
“But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists…the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, ready to remind us...of the immense edifice of memory”.
- Marcel Proust
BACKGROUND: ART + SCIENCE
Sigmund Freud revolutionized the way people think about the mind with his theory of the subconscious - the part of the psyche that thinks and feels without the person being aware of it.
According to Freud, dreams are coded messages from the subconscious. In some ways, memories are too. In fact, brain research has shown that memory is not frozen in time – that remembering is an act of creative re-imagination. Latest scientific research on the workings of the brain prove that memories can never be replayed in their exact form. If such a thing were to happen, we would not be able to differentiate reality from memory.
Each time a memory is recalled, we remember it with full awareness of ourselves in the present. It is well known that our senses act as powerful triggers to memory. A familiar tune or a single whiff of a former lover’s perfume has the power to conjure up entire scenes from the past that replicate that moment in time. Neuroscience studies of memory retrieval show that visual, olfactory and auditory stimulus can activate our brain regions that are associated with a previously experienced smell. After all, smell has long been hailed as the ‘memory sense’, the one most likely to provoke reminiscence.
The audience is invited to walk through the exhibition space, making stops at various memory stations. At each station there will be a sensory trigger:
Visual: Evocative images to paint pictures in the mind’s eye.
Auditory: Emotive music to transport our minds,
Olfactory: Immersive fragrances tied to memories untold
Memories are evoked by each sensation – do they change as we recall the experience again? Does the retelling of a memory really add a new dimension to our recollections? Is memory truly ‘creative re-imagination? This immersive experience uses visual, auditory and olfactory clues to answer these questions.
March 7 – March 13, 2016
99 Beach Rd Singapore.