Lost in the Mall

Stills from an imagined film

This is a series of images sourced from my huge archive of informal photographs made of my family and chiefly my daughters, the people around us and things I’ve found of interest over the years.

‘Lost in the Mall’ is a double reference.

Firstly, it refers to the existential fear that all parents have of losing their children. Secondly, it refers to an experiment in psychology exploring the implanting of memory, and therefore the unreliability of memory. Essentially a series of memories were put to the psychologist’s family which they were asked to consider and embellish from their own memories of the events. One of the memories however was false, concerning the imaginary loss of a younger brother in a shopping mall, who was found and returned to the family by another. Some of the family ‘remembered’ this fictitious event and even added to it.  There’s a really good description of the experiment here.

Applying these ideas to my own archive directly questions the images in terms of the memory that they suggest to me. 

I will be building this project as I explore my archive. The images are edited to give the feeling of stills from an imagined film, cropped to the cinematic ratio of 16:9 (which I’ve done before, see here) and treated to echo their transient nature. Viewed on this page, the images display in a random manner, so that with each launch of the web page, a new sequence of memories is made, and a different film is imagined.