Fragmented Memories & Dispersed Desires, photo essay by Santasil Mallik
Elements, moments, textures and apparently banal events get etched in our memory even at times when we refrain from considering them consciously. In our memory’s infinite spatio-temporal axis, we unconsciously remember certain elements that signify and stimulate the ethos of a particular atmosphere. Analogizing our memory with photographic sequences, these ‘accidental’, or ‘disturbing’ elements are, what Roland Barthes terms, the ‘punctum’ of a frame. It is the element that emerges from a particular discontinuous moment and pervades the whole reason of retaining it within the unfathomable dynamics of our unconscious identity.
The sea for me is an escape from the pandemonium of consumerist voracity. It is a blinding abyss of light, an apt metaphor for conveying the memory of my unconscious.
As I revisit the coast every time, I strive to relocate and isolate those ‘punctum(s)’ in order to diminish the ever-expanding demarcation between my incomprehensible perception of childhood and my construct of it. The sea with its recurring sobs at the coast calls me beyond my capable senses to submerge myself in its deafening silence, re-affirming me of its latent presence and fecund possibilities. But as Antoine D’Agata says, we as “human beings, don’t have either the courage, or the will, or the capacity to be conscious”. He hints at the fluidity of our psychic spaces, where his statement is well suggestive that consciousness is the knowledge of the ‘unconscious’.
This series is an attempt to unearth those multi-faceted, layered, and submerged signifiers associated with the perceptivity of my unconscious amidst varied contexts of visiting the sea.
(by Santasil Mallik)