“The Quest for Past Memories is Uncertain”

Installation with transformed books 

“I rarely visit the flea markets in Vienna – the city where I’m currently living – but sometimes I visit the second-hand shops that are selling used books. These kinds of bookstores let you enter the world of old and forgotten memories. There are no bestsellers on the shelves, the books are rather outdated and often unattractive. I am wandering around in these kinds of bookstores, thinking about the neglected pasts to be rediscovered. There is no specific order or archival system but a seemingly chaotic one which makes it more interesting for someone like me who has an equally fragmented memory. I am wandering between stories, old maps, poetry and tourist guidebooks that are no longer useful. All of this made me want to start a small collection of what was discarded for most people but maybe it could become something important for me.

So, what kind of dusty books did I find? 

Holy books, erotic books, old novels and books about history and politics, and especially the ones about the second world war; a dark history no one wants to remember.  

I got interested when I found books about Islamic history, Orientalism, the Arab world, atlases of the world and more recently, books about Syria. It was a painful moment to see that someone had discarded my country, in the form of a book.

The history belongs to whom? Are we belong to history or history belongs to us? Is it possible that history becomes recyclable in this way? How human can bring back or assimilate a story has lost some of its parts? Does the new narration of fragmented memories can tell part ofthe story, or create a new one, or maybe make it survived? Memory! How will we be able to protect it if we are the same who forsake it? “

This work is acquired by Botkyrka Konsthall, Stockholm/ Sweden