Abdul Halik Azeez
April 7, 2017

One can argue that in the realm of memory, the ‘real world’ has become secondary to a created ‘virtual world’; the real is viewed through the virtual lens, has submitted to it, the real exists by dint of the virtual; pics or it didn’t happen. The digital regime, through the ubiquitous and essential smartphone camera, imposes upon us new practices and ways of being as we unconsciously engage in the act of memorializing our lives. With time we develop a parallel visual memory, the existence of which can soon come to represent and perhaps even replace our ‘real’ memories. ‘Memory’ replays the artists own digital, stream of consciousness recording of his life in Sri Lanka from February to July 2016. It relives his ‘digital memories’ as a documentary photographer working in Colombo as well as his personal life in the time period. The images are fleeting and often hard to grasp, they overlap and merge together, at times approaching kaleidoscopic climaxes that can be hard to digest. The speed and gaps in the narrative can blur the sense of time and space. Despite this, moments of startling clarity present themselves in the mix. In this sense the work represents a machinistic mimicking of physical memory.



An incessant and instinctive mobile photographer, the artist himself is a subject of this digital hegemony. But the pictures form a record that stands in contrast to what is held within the mind, which is colored just as much by the visual as the emotional, and the multitude of other senses. In this experiment he seeks to re-examine this interplay between the real and the virtual from a critical distance, seeking to differentiate between the two, inviting the viewer to participate in the process.