Monday, January 7, 2008

Pro Memoria

(A camphor tree which is more than 300 years old, on the estate of the Vergelegen vineyard near Helderberg, Western Cape; many illustrious people have had their picture taken in front of this tree, even Nelson Mandela stood here once in front of this tree, …this tree must have an extensive memory…)

I came across this story recently of what must be a story about the ultimate documentalist (it is in Max Frisch’s book ‘Montauk’): …a French noble on the way to the guillotine ask for pen and paper to note down a few thoughts in order not to forget his thoughts… it is a note not directed to anyone else but solely for himself: ‘pro memoria’.

You can imagine that for someone who is interested in photography as memory, this short anecdote resonated quite a bit…

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