To commit to memory (Hardcover)
Artist and Publisher: Lois Bielefeld (2021)
Introduction by Shannon Brennan
Edition of 100
"To commit to memory delves into my parent’s life, particularly their conservative Evangelical traditions and how this plays out within the home. The genesis for this series was a video piece, Thank you Jesus, for what you are going to do, I made of my mom’s daily practice of planking while reciting memorized Bible verses. After completing the video in March 2020, I questioned what does it mean for me, a queer and atheist artist, to share work about deep devotion/faith? Being on different ends of the political spectrum, my parents and I constantly straddle a wide ideology chasm yet somehow, we negotiate and bridge our differences through this project. I’m interested in how the labor of looking can be a type of active listening that leads to understanding. This has led to this in-depth series looking at their complex personhood while wading through my own position.
Through photographic re-enactments, I examine domesticity, power relations, ritual, faith, aging and memory. I look at the house as a container and how it has been marked and manifested through their everyday movements, aesthetics, and use. I'm interested in both the imprint they've made on the house but also the imprint the house has made on them. What is the space of knowing? Knowing through familial relationships, knowing connected to routine and ritual, knowing in conjunction to where we spend our time. And how is this linked to our memories?
Within the series, there are four video works, an audio installation, and over 150 constructed portraits and house studies.
Each portrait is dually titled. My parents and I each developed our own caption for each photograph. The top title is my parents and mine follows."