........................................... Femme Fatale 1 composition from: Philip Jacques de Loutherbourg,'An Avalanche in the Alps' 1803 Henri Rousseau, 'Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised)' Gerhard Richter, ' Ema (Nude on a Staircase)'
Femme Fatale 2 composition from: William Turner, 'Fishermen at sea' Leonardo da Vinci, 'Portrait of Mona Lisa' or 'La Gioconda' Unknown artist ( Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses soeurs ) ( c. 1594 ) Femme Fatale 3 composition from: Craigie Horsfield, E. Horsfield, 'Well Street, East London', March 1986 William Holman Hunt, 'Our English Coasts', 1852 ('Strayed Sheep')
Femme Fatale 4 composition from: Frederic, Lord Leighton, 'The Bath of Psyche' exh.1890 Francis Danby, 'The Deluge' ?c.1840
Femme Fatale 5 composition from:
Théodore Géricault (1791-1821) 'Le Redeau de la Méduse' Gerhard Richter, ' Ema (Nude on a Staircase)'
As time passes and we grow more into the contemporary, the reasons for remembering other times grow, while the ability to recall them weakens. Memory straddles this paradox. We could say that the ethics of memory have something to do with the urgent negotiation between having to remember (which sometimes includes the obligation to mourn), and the requirement to move on (which sometimes includes the need to forget). Both are necessary, and each is notionally contingent on the abdication of the other, but life is not led by the easy rhythm of regularly alternating episodes of memory and forgetting, canceling each other out in a neat equation that resolves itself and attains equilibrium.
Forgetting: the true vanity of contemporaneity. Amnesia: a state of forgetfulness unaware of both itself and its own deficiency. True amnesia includes forgetting that one has forgotten all that has been forgotten. It is possible to assume that one remembers everything and still be an amnesiac. This is because aspects of the forgotten may no longer occupy even the verge of memory. They may leave no lingering aftertaste or hovering anticipation of something naggingly amiss. The amnesiac is in solitary confinement, guarded by his own clones, yet secluded especially from himself.
Typically, forms of belonging and solidarity that rely on the categorical exclusion of a notional other to cement their constitutive bonds are instances of amnesia. They are premised on the forgetting of the many contrarian striations running against the grain of the moment and its privileged solidarity. On particularly bad days, which may or may not have to do with lunar cycles, as one looks into a mirror and is unable to recognize one’s own image, the hatred of the other rises like a tidal bore. Those unfaithful patches of self are then rendered as so much negative space, like holes in a mirror. Instead of being full to the brim with traces of the other, each of them is seen as a void, a wound in the self.
This void where the self-authenticated self lies shadowed and unable to recognize itself is attributed to the contagious corrosiveness of the other. The forgetting of the emptying-out of the self by its own rage forms the ground from which amnesia assaults the world. In trying to assert who we are, we forget, most of all, who we are. And then we forget the forgetting.