Resident in Seattle

Psychologist, 1999

While it is commonly accepted that there is a psychology of art, rarely does art capture and portray psychology itself.  In My Memories of My Memories, artist Louise Levergneux has skillfully composed images that takes us on a truly unique journey of many levels. The images portrayed tell us a story of one man’s life but they also capture the psychological phenomenon of memory. While seeing glimpses of one man’s memories of his memories, we also see captured the process of memory and how it is shaped simultaneously by past images and our current experience.

The story unfolds as we look at the pictures created by superimposing images, one upon the other. What is so powerful about these montages of photos is that we get to see and feel the emotional and mental reflections of life then and now for this man. Many potent feelings are captured and are held in these complex pictures. We get a glimmer of howthe smiling faces dressed up in their Sunday best in chapter 11 must have overlapped then as they do now with the signs and feelings of danger and distress shown in chapter 2 “Falling Rock Area”.  The image in chapter 6 gives another view of the conflicting feelings and images which so often make up memories. At first glance, we get the strong image of multiple generations and we might too quickly assume a positive transition between these generations.  And yet a closer look conveys a feeling of emptiness or loneliness. We are left wanting to know more about the memories surrounding these images.

It is this process of reflection which opens up to us the next level of our journey.  For we soon start down the path of our own reflections. Our own montage of pictures and images flood our minds, creating the layers of reflection which make up our own memories of our memories.  As we see our own “pictures”, we have an opportunity to reflect on the complementary and sometimes contrasting feelings and images held in our own memories of our childhood.  

We are also taken on a journey of wonder of howmemories are formed and shaped and held in our conscious and unconscious minds. And wonder further how our memories help mold us into the people we are today. As we look at the images so skillfully created on these pages we see a portrayal of the process of memory as accurate as anything captured to date. These images capture the emotional process of memories wherein our images, thoughts, and feelings from the past and present are layered, one upon the other. What is created both in these images as well as in our minds is more than just the sum of the parts. Captured here is the emotional process of how we move forward in our lives; a process of shaping and being shaped by our own “photo album” memories.