Artist Statement 

Preservation of Forgetting 

2017

Preservation of Forgetting is a body of work in which I labor to let go. To actively forget—to coerce the process of forgetting upon myself—I work with objects that are already forgotten. 

 

The objects in this work are found discarded, leftover, and secondhand. With a rudimentary version of papier-mâché, I rub every inch of the objects, which are not necessarily mine, with ripped pieces of Kraft paper drenched in glue. These items include uneaten pizza, lawn chairs, takeout containers, fake houseplants, teddy bears, jump ropes, art magazines, hula hoops, yoga balls, clothes, shoes, and more. Once covered and dried, they appear solid and become resistant to outside change. These mummified objects become records of an unusual intimacy and are stacked into sculptural forms. 

This time-intensive process becomes a means to get to know the objects. I get to see and feel how they were touched, what lingered in the objects between touch, and, marking with torn paper, how I have touched. These objects reveal the imbedded histories of their previous owners. They become relics for the rest of us.

 

By carefully handling our leftovers, our discards, to soften, store, and send away unwanted memories, these sculptures grow into monuments of touch and altars of loss. By doting on the stuff people get rid of, leave behind, and forget about, I ask—what do we keep? What do we care for? What doesn’t go in the (memory) trash? What is forgotten about? What has to be forgotten about? And, what is not?

All images on this website copyright Sidney Mullis. All Rights Reserved.