Memories, photo essay by Marilisa Cosello

“Memories are killing. So you must not think of certain things, of those that are dear to you, or rather you must think of them, for if you don’t there is the danger of finding them, in your mind, little by little” (Samuel Beckett)

I don’t remember much. Most of my memories are stolen from my brothers’ and my sisters’ memories, as I hear them recalling moments of our childhood. Who am I without my memories?
We have the family pictures in the kitchens’ draw. I photographed some, I photocopied some others, and I painted them, ruined them, scratched them, I deconstruct them. Then I took a picture of these new memories.
They look much more like my memories. Something that I cannot describe, some ghosts that come and go.
These are my new childhood memories, I’ve made them. Because I too deserve my little chronicle, my memories, my reason.

The project is also an interrogation over photography. Photos are linked to the idea of death. You preserve a moment, but as soon as the photo is taken, the moment is over. So the more we recollect memories, the more we preserve them, the more we underline the death of that moment.
The enlarged portraits are inspired by the post mortem photos, where people are chrystalized and decontexualized. They stand in the subjective reality of the narration of memories.
This distorted family album, these deconstructed memories, question what we remember, why we remember, and what memories are made of. Memories have a deepest meaning, a vagueness and an ability to be different from what they present and show. And that’s the material with whom we all shape our memories and our memory.

Q&A with Marilisa Cosello

Photography is…
“it is because each photograph allways contains this imperious sign of my future death, that each one, however attached it seems to be to the excited world of the living, challenges each of us, one by one…” Roland Barthes. And it’s also some kind of secret, a mysterious secret with no correct answear.

Photography and writing…
I guess it all deals with the same secret.

Who left the biggest impression on you?
Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio, Francis Bacon, Julia Margaret Cameron, Diane Arbus, Kikuji Kawada, Nan Goldin, E. J. Bellocq

Cosello MarilisaMarilisa Cosello (, born in the south of Italy, I moved to UK at age 15, to study art in High School, specializing in photography and video art. After graduating,I majored in Comunication and Cinema at University in Milano, Italy. I then studed photography at IED Milano, and worked for 5 years as a news photographer in Italy.I was also photographers’ assistant at TPW, working with Arno Minkinen, and taking workshops with Antoine D’Agata, Anders Petersen, Davide Monteleone, Tano D’Amico.


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