Beginning with the negatives that she inherited from her father's service in the Dutch army in Sumatra, Hedwig M. Heerschop constructed a multimedia installation that investigates the personal aspect of historical memory. In the case of Heerschop's work, the objects are archival records: old negatives developed into photographs with or without computer intervention; old letters her father wrote her mother; and an old audio recording her mother made for her father during his service. Furthermore, Heerschop uses found objects, such as a duffel bag like that which her father used, and which she then casts in aluminum and bronze. A duffel bag that once held a soldier's personal belongings is transformed into a bag of memories. By using different objects that reference lost memories, Heerschop creates an archive that seeks to tell a story, a substitute memory, from mute and often ambiguous traces. Her installation commemorates both well known historical events and her father's private military experience and love story. However, in her sometimes nostalgic effort to restore the private memories of her father, who kept his own story silent, her work addresses the enormous gap between private and collective memory, as well as our recurrent desire to make objects fill such gaps.
MA Art History