Memory Objects, Memory Dialogues (2011), 26 mins, split-screen projection
Memory Objects, Memory Dialogues is an installation that explores the complex nature of memory in contemporary Romania. Starting from a collection of ordinary, household objects gathered in 2007 during Alyssa’s year of doctoral fieldwork in Bucharest, the film approaches these objects as windows into Romania’s communist past.
Presented in the form of a split-screen projection, Selena’s 16mm stop-motion animations of these artifacts are shown alongside selections of Alyssa’s filmed interviews with the objects’ owners. Together, these images serve not to illustrate particular people’s memories, but rather to evoke the elusive and fragmentary feeling of the act of remembering in itself. Individual and collective memories diverge and intersect, offering poignant, mundane and sometimes humorous glimpses into how at that moment, nearly two decades after the 1989 Revolution, a selection of Bucharest inhabitants were looking back at their country’s history of 45 years of communist rule.