Saturday, January 16, 2010

Created Memories

Photoshoping has traditionally had a negative connotation - not unlike airbrushing models on glossy magazines to make them impossible perfect and plastic. In this discussion on the cultural impact of photoshopping, it is described as a neologism :

The term is sometimes used with a derogatory intent by artists to refer to images that have been retouched instead of originally produced. A common issue amongst users of all skill levels is the ability to avoid in one's work what is referred to as "the Photoshop look" (although such an issue is intrinsic to many graphics programs).

This heart-rending Mashable story about one man's request for someone with photoshop skills to remove the oxygen cannula out of a picture of him with his deceased mother who had been suffering from cancer, makes one think of photoshopping in an entirely different light. There are moments in life, that we can no longer relive or make perfect - specially it involved a loved one who is no longer alive. The only clear memories we have of our grandparents is of a time when they were past their prime and ailing. We are no longer able to remember them as they were when we were very young.

What would it hurt to create a memory of my grandfather who had a smile that could light up a room - before he was put on a dialysis unit and looked so fragile that he could snap any moment - with me and J as we are now. It would not represent the truth but it would be how I want to remember him always, how I wish J might have seen him. The past is always made more perfect through our successive recollections of it. In our minds we undo a gesture, say something we lacked the grace to say at the time, remove the many blemishes from the object of our affections. To photoshop would be no worse than turning our imagination into something tangible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

" In our minds we undo a gesture, say something we lacked the grace to say at the time, remove the many blemishes from the object of our affections".

Indeed yes. So very well put by you.