Digital Mediations: Susana Moyaho: Misremember Me Correctly
Every portrait can be said to contain ghosts from the past, but I find none more haunting than portraits of the self. The melding of photographer and subject in a need to remember and be remembered as they were in that moment inspires self-reflection. In Misremember Me Correctly, Susana Moyaho’s self-portraits feel haunted in a different way; her body has become distorted, unrecognizable as the digital files break down over time. They remind us that the moments we capture cannot always be rescued from the progression of decay, that digital technology is just as fragile and imperfect as memory itself. In this sense, the images in Misremember Me Correctly become more accurate reflections of memory, full of gaps and distortions that deepen over time.
Misremember Me Correctly
This project emerged from accident and entropy. Entropy, the eternal law of nature, is suspended in the photograph, freezing time and interrupting decay. But the imperfect medium of the digital image is always at risk of degrading, introducing glitches and errors, as though interrogating the perfection we have tried to preserve.
On a decade-old MacBook Pro, I had stored videos of myself that I recorded to test lighting conditions, composition, and poses before taking my self-portraits. I would open each video and move the progress bar frame by frame, looking for the perfect shot. Recently, while going through my archives, I rewatched these videos on my old, failing laptop and found that glitches kept appearing, making me look deformed—melting my face, distorting my body, adding extra arms and nipples and eyes, as though mocking me.
I decided to capture some of these degraded and distorted images. I couldn’t help reflecting on the fact that while I was looking for perfection in those videos, the way I wanted to present myself to the world, the way I wanted to be remembered, the very medium I had chosen was undermining my desire. Through technology, itself subject to decay, I felt that entropy was taking its revenge on me, trying to kill my image, ruining the visual depiction I had of myself. The ghostly past selves I had stored up and sent into the world were not as I remembered them, not as I wished them to be. In the end, perhaps the most that I can hope for is to be misremembered. – Susana Moyaho
Susana Moyaho is a photographer and co-creator of The Unperson Project. She has a Bachelors degree in Communication Sciences from Universidad De Las Américas Puebla and a Master degree in fashion photography from Escuela Superior de Artes y Espectáculos TAI, Madrid, Spain. She likes to capture scenes from daily life that include intimate portraits of friends and herself. Her work explores topics of loneliness, loss and absence.
Her work has been shown in international exhibitions and published in magazines in Mexico, USA and Europe. Her photographic adventures also include cinematography in international documentaries like Insurgentes, and short films like Silla Eléctrica para moscas. Invited speaker at TEDxTukuy 2020.
Follow her on Instagram: @susana_moyaho
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Digital Mediations: Susana Moyaho: Misremember Me CorrectlySeptember 29th, 2021
Mona Kuhn: WorksJune 13th, 2021
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