By Rebecca Louise Clarke
Of course, one day there will be a museum collection about the pandemic. In fact, they’re working on it right now, collecting the pieces of a crisis as it unfolds in the hope that somehow it won’t get lost in the movement of time, that one day we will see ourselves or have ourselves be seen.
But knowing that history involves selection, that some pieces of memory will necessarily be chosen over others and therefore some of us will blow away, I want to show a vision of my life, my family’s life over the last two years. It could be two years, one or three because who knows? It has been a time, in which time has been lost. Each day seems the same and yet things move forward.
These things are my daughter’s/mine/her Dad’s. These moments are my own, enmeshed in the fabric of my family.
I don’t want our memories to be swallowed up by that terrifying giant; the pandemic; our experiences to be defined by a turbulent era of history. The little things that together make up our lives, have been injured, but still, those little things keep breathing. Most of the time they drag themselves, tired and bloody, but now and then, they unleash a triumphant boogie.
Our ginger tomcat died. The neighbour’s house was torn down. Adult teeth erupted, school started, stopped and started again. And the things in-between.
Here is my vision. A basket of things from me to you.
Photographs by Richard Clarke and Rebeca Louise Clarke.
Rebecca Louise Clarke is an author, scholar and media artist who is interested in the ways mothering and memory are depicted in museums. Her book Representations of Mothers and the Maternal in Museums, to be published in early 2023 by Routledge is currently in development and examines the ways mothering is represented in museum collections and exhibitions. During her residency with the Museum of Motherhood (M.O.M.), Rebecca is doing an in-depth case study of M.O.M. Her analysis seeks to discover ways that experiences of mothering as voiced by mothers themselves, can challenge heteronormative, stereotypical ideals about motherhood and how innovative museum practice can disrupt conventional ideals about motherhood.
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