Flat Pennies and Other Tales: Sandra Elkind

15 September - 22 October 2011

in her own words_


While in everyone’s life there are landmark events that are documented by a camera, (birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc), I am intrigued by the unexpected moments, just as memorable, that are not captured by a camera.  These undocumented moments can turn into vivid memories that can be triggered by all the senses.  They are more fluid than memories associated with photographs because there is nothing anchoring them.  As such, they are manipulated and edited by our imagination.  The more we retell or relive these memories the more they come to resemble fables, but if they are not triggered frequently enough we run the risk of these memories fading away over time.  In response to the fluidity of memory inFlat Pennies & Other Tales I create a document of undocumented moments.  I capture a physical snap shot of how those moments are remembered today.


I base each tale in the series on a memory, specifically unexpected significant moments not captured by a camera.  I draw on the tradition of storytelling and use the processes of appropriation and reconstruction to translate these memories into single images that are presented with a short elliptical paragraph.


The images are documents of small-scale sets that I have constructed from memory.  To physically recreate the aesthetic and visual elements of the memory the sets are made from a combination of photographs and three-dimensional objects.  Just like our imagination the sets weave together different layers of fact and fiction that heighten the drama of the moment.  The final layers are created when I explore and capture snap shots of the set with my camera, flattening all the layers of information into one document.


To me, a memory is the essence of a moment.  It is a reliquary filled with vivid emotions, saturated aesthetics and vague narratives.  Flat Pennies & Other Tales are physical documents of undocumented memories giving them an anchor in time.