Introduction

by swhoneyman

In my early work I pretended to speak about my childhood, yet my real childhood had disappeared. I have lied about it so often that I no longer have a real memory of this time, and my childhood has become for me some kind of universal childhood, not a real one. – Christian Boltanski

‘A universal childhood’ is an interesting thought. Take any society and you have the generic ‘everyday’ life of that society and so you have  memories that can be deemed the generic childhood memories; playing out late whilst the sun sets, going to school and especially childhood meals. This means that on the whole the majority will when thinking back about their childhoods talk about such times. Taking this ideology you can also implement that as with everything memory decays over time. Sometimes it fades whilst other times it becomes distorted. Especially due to the influx of external stimulus through the constant exposure to the media. We have a constant window into childhood, be it reality or imagined. And so we create or alter memories without realising it. A story that we see on the TV can easily get imprinted into one of our own childhood memories.

Therefore I wanted to look back at my personal childhood, giving people a glimpse into my world but at the same time portray it in what could be deemed a universal way. So that the viewer themselves can in turn use them as a stimulus to reconnect and remember back to their own childhood.

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