CM: Lina Bebi's How To Talk About Something You Don't Remember references the artist's deceased brother, who died young, when he was sixteen years old and she was eleven. The devastation of this loss was dealt with by oblivion. For her artwork Bebi used the unique photograph on which the two siblings appear together. The family photograph - alongside others from that period - at some stage surfaced from its hiding spot, and its use in the present work seemed like stealing. Consequently, this work recuperates memory.
How To Talk About Something You Don't Remember is an artwork based on memory and loss, but created with a feel for decoration. The amelioration of traumatic memory functions as therapy. For Bebi the work operates like a settlement of past affairs. With references to the 1960s, Bebi chose photography as the most appropriate artform. Her intention was to incorporate in the work the actual ingredients of the time. She used the computer as a memory safe, and by compressing the data she arrived at a new picture. The background's flowery pattern derives from the decorative motif on a period dress of the artist's mother. As yet another memory, the dress is used to confirm that memory operates in oblique ways. The quality of breaking the picture plane has to do with the fragmentation of memory and of references in a period from which pieces are missing. Upon creating this work Bebi felt she was recomposing a picture from its pieces. Therefore a new picture was produced, made entirely on various levels, with an aim to create the illusion of depth through atmospheric perspective. From the original photograph Bebi preserved the focus only on the faces, while giving to the rest the feel of a misprint, which insinuates the past. Employing an ongoing subversion and inversion of the work's optical levels, Bebi describes the phenomenon of memory's vagueness. "Subjective memory is flexible", claims Bebi, and in her effort to visualize memory she talks about the erased past as she feels it.
The small version of How To Talk About Something You Don't Remember was presented at a group exhibition Terra Incognita at Diana Gallery, Athens, in 2002. The present large version was presented at her personal exhibition Defragmentation at Medusa Art Gallery in 2004 and at Silent Dialoges: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time at The American College of Art in 2008.
[Megakles Rogakos 04/2008]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens