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Damnatio Memoriae (A.H.)

Mixed media, archival pigment print, 2018-2022, 50 x 37 cm

Damnatio Memoriae, ‘damnation of memory’ in Latin, is a practice intended to erase a person from history by shattering any visual and written documentation that attest their life, with the aim of making both the actions and the mere existence of the person forgotten and eventually unknown.

Damnatio Memoriae (A.H.) is a growing series of works which consists of altered official group photographs that are located in German national archives. Pursuing a hopeless attempt, the series gracelessly “fixes” photos taken in Germany in the 1930’s by eliminating from them the face of Adolf Hitler, releasing the people surrounding him in each of the photos from his grim presence.

Left without him, the photographed individuals remain in those documented historical moments and stare at the viewers, questioning the ethos of their own society, the significance of collective responsibilities, and the capacities of sole leaders to carry out atrocities or change the course of history.

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