How Memories reflect in other artists works

*This Post includes +8 Other Relevant Research Study Posts/ Bibliography.

Curiosity about “Memories” materialistic objects in art drove me to many artists experience and art practicing, background, and thoughts. I point out here some of the most intriguing and relevant to my research study about memories in art.


  • Social, political, Historical Memories

Gülsün Karamustafa is a visual artist and filmmaker recognized as “one of Turkey’s most outspoken and celebrated artists. Using personal and historical narratives, Karamustafa explores socio-political issues in modern Turkey and addresses themes including sexuality-gender, exile-ethnicity, and displacement-migration.

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Gulsun Karamustafa double-screen projection video installation

“for me to be able to carry out my work, the subject has to be distilled; this is what protects me from giving direct messages, and from staying in the shallows. It took 27 years before one of my photographs related to the 1971 military coup could appear in a work of art: and it was only two years ago that the film ‘Memory of a Square’ had matured to my satisfaction after 10 years of consideration” (Quoted in Heinrich 2007, p.7.).

  • Experimental Memories

Chiharu Shiota is an installation artist whose work centers around ideas of collective and thick lines of memory in her installation’s concept. Chiharu Shiota, the Japanese Germany based artist taught by Marina Abramovic and influenced to such an extent by Ana Mendieta that she believed herself to be an incarnation of the tragic Cuban, her ethereal installations blend Lygia Clark with Christian Boltanski, innocence with experiences of trauma, unbearable weight with the lightness of being. Her room-size webbed or windowed installations, anxiety bubbles and breaks the still surface of one’s consciousness. The deep engaging with memories as a subject in her works is magnificent.

Chiharu Shiota, Memory of Skin, (2000)

influenced by Abramovic, methodology, and experiences she earned during the course at MAI.

Chiharu Shiota, A Room of Memory, (2009)  [21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa]
Chiharu Shiota, A Room of Memory, (2009)  [21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa]

after the fall of the Berlin Wall, she collected old window frames from destroyed buildings. The windows have in a sense “viewed” history from both sides – pre and post wall. The towering form in the installation is like a chapel, a place of remembrance and contemplation

Chiharu Shiota, Accumulation (2015)

Chiharu Shiota’s signature is the accumulation of memory in objects. She creates large-scale installations by stretching yarn across the exhibition space and artworks from everyday materials that are filled with memory – such as suitcases.

Accumulation: Searching for Destination is inspired by the everyday movement, life, and thoughts of the individual. Each individual person carries only the necessary things when traveling, and the red strings in Shiota’s work connect the suitcases to the starting point of each personal journey.

When we travel, we hold a physical document that tells us of our chosen destination. We hold a general wish and try to follow that path, but uncertain obstacles may meet us along the way. We cannot control the unexpected which continuously shapes our destination. For this reason, the suitcases are hanging and moving about, ready to go, but we never know exactly where we are heading on the journey of life. Shiota’s The Key in the Hand was shown in the Japanese Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. (Basel 2016)

  • Deep life-changing memories 

Memories deeply reflect on Louise Bourgeois artworks. she once said. “All my work of the last fifty years, all my subjects, have found their inspiration in my childhood…My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama,” ( Bourgeois, L.)

Louise Bourgeois inside Articulated Lair, 1986© Peter Bellamy

In 1922, her father invited an English tutor to join the family and soon began a decade-long affair with her (among other women). His wartime absence and his infidelities, together with her mother’s prolonged illness—she contracted Spanish flu around 1920, and never fully recovered—and her silence about these betrayals, profoundly affected Bourgeois. These are among the memories and experiences that would shape her life and, inseparable from it, her art.

– The spider motif appears most prominently in Bourgeois’s sculpture, but also in her prints and drawings. This example is from the illustrated book in which she first identified her provocative symbol, saying, “The spider… why the spider? Because my best friend was my mother and she was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable, neat and useful as a spider.”

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Louise Bourgeois Untitled, plate 8 of 9, from the illustrated book, Ode à Ma Mère1995

As a small child, Louise Bourgeois used to mold white bread into a figure of her father, then slowly and deliberately cut off the arms and legs with a knife. She has called this her “first sculptural solution.” A lifetime later, while she enjoys her greatest artistic recognition at the age of eighty-four, intense feelings rooted in her childhood in France still come bubbling to the surface to take form in her work. “Art is an exorcism,” she says. “a tool for survival.” (Diehl, C. 1995:39)

Louise Bourgeois, Spider, 1997. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2017 The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY.


  • Memories in words and forms

Literature, poetry, words and memories, memories and forms,  how artists express and interpret or translate words into the visual form of art? ‘In Memory of My Feelings’ by Frank O’Hara 30 poems decorated with 46 drawings reproduced by offset lithography. It’s intriguing how poetic material of the poems of ‘O’Hara’ resemble and follow in other artists illustrations. ” The poet himself admitted that he was “in love” with painting, and, as Mrs. He was ineluctably influenced by the Abstract Expressionists’ sense of “push and pull” and “all‐over painting,” the heterogeneous images and syntactic dislocation of his poetry imitating the processes of painting itself ” (Perloff, 1977).

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  • Memory as an essential material

The reflection of memory in art, the innumerable aspects and layers of memories as an objective or subjective influential material and elements in art is profound and wide but how Stephen Wiltshire usage of memories is as the actual act of capturing images. In 2001 the British architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire was filmed flying over London aboard a helicopter and subsequently completing a detailed and perfectly scaled aerial illustration of a four-square-mile area of the British capital within a few hours.  he has repeated on several occasions. Perhaps I wouldn’t categorize this form of memory usage as an influential material in art but it was interesting to speak about and end this post by remembering the art before photography and the artists’ intense intention of capturing what mind can capture in a canvas or much before that on chests of caves.

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Autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire on his third day of drawing the New York skyline from memory

My Other Relevant Research Study Posts/ Bibliography

  1. Artistography, Artists Talks and reviews, [online] At:
  2. Squaring Circle, Circling Square, Remembering, Forgetting, MOMENTS [online] At:
  3. Philosophy of Mind [online] At:
  4. Balance theory in a wide perspective [online] At:
  5. Remembering & Forgetting [online] At:
  6. Contemporary Video Art / Review [online] At:
  7. Science and memories [online] At:

  8. A wide angle, Concept and practicing research, First Post [online] At:


MOMA. Memories & Forgetting in visual art [online] At: (Accessed on 03.04.18)

O’Hara, F. (1967) In Memory Of my Feelings [online] At: (Accessed on 02.04.18)

Perloff, M.(1977) In Memory Of His Feelings [online] At: (Accessed on 02.04.18)

Tate(2005) Memory of a Square(1946) [online] (Accessed on 02.04.18)

Shiota speaking in a short film, Brilliant Ideas Ep. 52 [online] At: (Accessed on 02.04.18)

McNAY, N. (2014) Chiharu Shiota: Dialogues [Online] At: (Accessed on 02.04.18)

Shiota, Ch. Website

infinite dictionary, (2015) Installation Artist Chiharu Shiota, [online] At: (Accessed on 02.04.18)

Diehl, C. (1995) Memory, and Meaning: Louise Bourgeois Reflects on Yesterday and Today, [online] At (Accessed on 01.04.18)

Kedmey, K. (2017) How to Be an Artist, According to Louise Bourgeois [online] (Accessed on 01.04.18)

Hooper, G. (2015) Five Things You Might Not Know About Louise Bourgeois [online] At (Accessed on 01.04.18)

Wiltshire, S. (Accessed on 02.04.18)

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