The Memory of a Vacation Album

When Moments Are Erased

We take pictures with the hope of retaining the happy moments of our life. Curiously enough, we rely more on the mark of light on a photosensitive surface than the intensity with which these experiences are recorded in our memory. We suspect it to be so fragile! Is this because of the powerful authority of the scientific and technological imagination, which since the nineteenth century has strived to offer us all the guarantees of permanence? The truth is that we have come to regard photography as reassurance; an alternative device to face the escape without return of our everyday events, and the emptiness that we perceive they leave behind.

We pursue and hold on to the most meaningful moments of this occurrence until we realize that inevitably, images are born and die like beings and things. This in itself is curious because the birth of the image was related to the desire to exorcise death. Or was not Imago the name of the wax mask that was used in ancient times to preserve the face of the dead forever? At the very root of that word, which is so significant in our times, lies the ambition of eternity and the fragility of matter, such as memory, which every so often lets us down.

Amanda Coimbra’s beautiful book is about this irreversible acknowledgement and its melancholic effects. She created it to give a new life to this group of family images that refer to a happy moment that is no longer here. Fatally affected by time and rain, these images are related to a trip that was reborn in a new direction that gave them another journey.

Excerpts of the text written by curator Ana María Battistozzi

for the photobook "The Memory of a Vacation Album", 2016.

Amanda Coimbra was born in Brasília, she lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. Coimbra explores photography and its boundaries by constantly challenging this medium’s supposed precision in order to address its relationship to intangible subjects such as memory. Her recent work has been exhibited at AIREZ, Curitiba, Brazil — Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo, Montevideo, Uruguay — Despina, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Photobastei, Zurich, Switzerland — Experiencia Hiedra, Buenos Aires, Argentina — Proyecto ‘ace, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her photobook “The Memory of a Vacation Album” (2016) is part of the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, Chicago.

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