Ce que nous avons perdu/ What we have lost

An installation of destroyed books with video projections base on memory loss.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative illness. Like other forms of dementia, memory becomes inaccessible accompanied by the loss that what we have learned during our lifetime. The project is an interpretation from this disease and aimed to aware it.

This installation aims to explore the perspective of memory loss through materiality. Between the presence of destroyed books and the digital video projections, the project focus on the concept of tangibility and intangibility from these two media. The physical impact of the disease is shown allegorically by the present of four books representing the conservation of memory. The four handmade books are destroying each in four different processes, the pages are: “damp in water, dirtied by earth dirt, rolled corner and torn apart”. The destruction process gradually intensifies in each page when we turn it. At the same time, video projections are displayed onto the four books. 

The Book I: “Fluidity” projection portrayed the degradation of fluid movements, thoughts, speeches and memory that affect essential everyday needs. 

The Book II: “Ability” projection illustrated the loss of skills and interests learned during a lifetime and trying to retrieve these competences. 

The Book III: “Tranquility” projection shown fear and agitation cause by the inability to retrieve memory which affect the well-being and the peace of mind. At the same time, the past, present and future memories are mixed up and confused. 

Finally, the Book IV: “Integrity” projection portrayed the end of the disease, the person is completely destroyed, torn apart with no chance to recover his own identity. 

During the projection sequences, the notion of apprehension is shown by projecting the upcoming stages of the disease. Furthermore, the idea of reminiscence is reinforced by the brief glimpse of past events added in the sequences.

The installation integrated a soundtrack that it is composed from everyday sounds and musical sequences are created to give an experience of nostalgia.

The installation experience was aiming to create the feeling of empathy and compassion by portraying hands. By the manipulation of the books from the participants, the video projections of the hands suggested the notion that, at last, holding someone hands is a universal gesture of support and comfort. 

The installation was meant to be experienced in person, but due to the current event the artwork has been filmed.