Venue: A4 – Associations for contemporary culture, Bratislava, Slovakia
About the project: Monika Veľká, 1926, living in Bratislava, Slovakia “Pawel: Why do people die?
Krzysztof: It depends … heart failure, cancer, accidents, old age.
Pawel: I mean … what is death?
Krzysztof: The heart stops pumping blood. It doesn’t reach the brain. Movement ceases. Everything stops. It’s the end.
Pawel: So what’s left?
Krzysztof: What a person has achieved, the memory of that person. The memory’s important. The memory that someone moved in a certain way, or that they were kind. You remember their face, their smile, that a tooth was missing
Pawel: … “For the peace of her soul” … You didn’t mention a soul.
Krzystof: It’s a form of words of farewell; there is no soul.
Pawel: Auntie says there is.
Krzystof: Some find it easier to live thinking that.” The Decalogue (episode 1)
Alexandra Jitariuc’s work is a visual diary which focuses on memory, identity and space. Through memory the human being acquires continuity of identity over time. Her project, Box of memories aims to investigate daily fragments from the life of Monika inviting us to reflect on the idea: there is a link between past and present given by memory. One has of the past as much as how it affects our identity in the present.
Monika Veľká was diagnosed with Alzheimer in September 2013. AD is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gets worse over time. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events (short term memory loss). As the disease advances, symptoms can include: problems with language, disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self care, and behavioral issues. Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues.
Concept: The box with the white strings is a visual metaphor for the mind which collects memories over time. The act of memorization is a mental process undertaken in order to store in memory for later recall different experiences. As you enter the box, you can encounter various fragments of life of Monika Veľká, from outdoor activities to very intimate moments of her life (daily activities (e.g: drawing-to keep her mind active), prayers, treatment). Through this, the viewer is invited to reflect on some parts of life: time, memory, aging. It is an exercise of empathy.