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Aaron Friend Lettner
Anchorless Press
Artists' Books
8 × 10.5 × 0.8 in
80 pp
Photography, Poetry

A new theory of memory, proposed by neuroscientist Daniela Schiller, suggests that each time we remember something we also inevitably alter it. We do not ever access the original event or image from which our memory has been inspired. Rather, what we return to has been subject to various surgeries, has been rearranged, amputated, and enhanced, so that what appears in our mind’s eye as singular is in actual fact multiple and multiplying each time we recall it. It is this devious role of memory to distort without disclosing its distortion that is explicitly addressed both visually and textually in Doorways.

There is an argument to be made for the way in which Doorways is a creative articulation of Schiller’s modern theory of memory. The book is dedicated to the past and yet the past eludes us at every turn. Its elusion is achieved through various methods of modification – one being reflection. The images are not completed by their reflections but complicated, changed, exposed in unexpected ways. To reflect is not just to exhibit a likeness but also to prevent passage, to change direction, to bend or fold back.

Memory is a mechanism that functions always and inevitably in the present, not a still reservoir from which to draw but a pool of water filling, drying, disappearing its source, filling again. The source of reflection is essentially repetition, and repetition is an essential element of Doorways. To return to the same image and find it changed; this is what memory is and what it does. The door we enter by is not the same we leave by; nor is it the same door through which we return.

(The above is an excerpt from “Doorways,” a review of the publication by Alana Friend Lettner, written May-June 2017.)

About the artist
Aaron Friend Lettner explores methods of storytelling through photography, poetry and prose. Working primarily in monochrome, his photographs reveal aspects of everyday life that might otherwise go unnoticed. Threading documentary-style photography with elements of surrealism, Aaron continues to develop what he considers Photosymbolism: an approach that uses images and text to reflect a hidden language between familiar objects, landscapes, and expressions. Book-making is central to his practice, with publications often inspiring exhibitions, installations, or performances. Aaron holds a BFA in Photography from Ryerson University and lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Edition of 250


Hardover, perfect-bound, b/w

  1. Doorways

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