Memory Fountain


In the interstices of a wall in Cimadevila (my family’s house in Spain), I found a number of very plain and rusted objects. I sensed that these objects had witnessed the lives of my family for me and I wanted to make them talk. They might have been in the house for many years, perhaps for hundreds of years. I carried them back to the United States in my luggage. To make them talk, I dripped saline and vinegar over them as they lay on white cotton fabric stretched over containers. I used an intravenous system (IV bags) to deliver the saline, a reference to the life saving and resuscitating power these medical tools have. In time, the dripping of saline over the iron objects produced a rust stain on the fabric. The stained fabric represents a record of a process a sort of daguerreotype that left a memory of my family’s presence, a portrait of the ancestors who lived in the house. Each piece of fabric had a resemblance to them or so I imagined. Perhaps they handled these objects or perhaps not but they shared the same space at some point in time, I am certain of that. I embroidered their names on the stained fabric based on this conviction.