“It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present….you know what I mean…..awfully difficult”

I’ve been watching a fair few films concerning memory and seeing how they tackle the issue of layered and fragmented time.

One of these was Grey Gardens … a documentary I’d seen years ago but watched some of again

I particularly like this quote from Edie

“Its very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present you know what I mean..awfully difficult”.

At 5.55 minutes.

Thinking about the Reading Room work I am working on at the moment and  this is not what I want to achieve at all…. I want the ‘nostalgia’ to be alluded to and felt by an observer rather than being overtly visible.

And nostalgia is not really the correct word. Nor is melancholy… as it is a feeling of the present in association with the past and the future which is meaningful in this context and that I wasn’t to demonstrate.

There is such a tendency for Romantic view  of the past.

I want that view to be evident but not the main objective of the work.

The way these two sisters are locked, especially Edie, is locked into the past is interesting, as is the following they have on-line even after their deaths...this is just one of the site

Lots of memorialisation….and remediation of the Grey Gardens original film…. and photographs

I hadn’t realised when I watched it but the original filmmaker had recently died! Albert Maysles, who has this wonderful quote….

“The eye of the cameraman should be the eye of the poet”

I may look at some more of his films.. like “Gimme Shelter” about the Stones…

This is his Obituary from the Guardian

and here is Grey Gardens

Writing this has just reminded me of something I noticed recently on Facebook

I have somehow accidentally revived an old account I had, some years ago.

Some of my relatives have been posting Happy Birthday wishes to one of their close relatives… Nothing wrong with that, you may think… but he has been dead for some time…

This is one step further on from the notices of Remembrance in the local paper and I guess must be quite common on FB as people’s Timelines live on and their posts are still visible?

Keeping people alive, which I guess is what all photos etc do in some way. I always find it slightly sinister and strange when I get an email or Linked in message from someone who has died…or rather their hacker…


2 thoughts on ““It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present….you know what I mean…..awfully difficult””

  1. Interesting post. Memory Is fascinating when good, difficult when bad.
    That’s not two sisters in Grey Gardens; that’s mother and daughter.
    Consider the brazilian concept of “saudade”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dave
      Thanks for this Comment and you are absolutely right! I knew they were mother and daughter but, for some reason, when I was writing this I must’ve confused them with some other couple…..
      I will correct immediately.
      Interestingly there is a similar concept to “saudade” is “the Hiraeth” in Wales and Welsh culture.
      All Best


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