The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point. - Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
While we proudly exhibit our past to the world, let's make sure we accept it first. We're still open wounds, prisoners of a painful past. Instead of dealing with it, we applaud the exposure and global attention it promotes. I'm not saying we shouldn't take advantage of these
profitable opportunities much deserved 15 minutes of fame. I am only insisting in defining the act of ‘dealing with it’ as a true communication of our collective memory, a counseling of sorts - not a negotiation, commodity, combat fuel, or mere negligence.
Little by little, studying the infinite possibilities of a loss of memory, he realized that the day might come when things would be recognized by their inscriptions but that no one would remember their use. - Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
Yes, we have finally brought our past up to the surface. Let's now dive deep into the intensity and density that defines its space and make room, free it up for the future. Deal with it.
This is a space of containment. Quarantined. Contaminated and abandoned, it lingers unfinished. 102 years.
Yes. This space exists, buried underneath the surface. A surface we've punctured, but haven't dared penetrate. Who wants to reach rock bottom anyways. Right?!
[F]or it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men. - Márquez, One Hundred Years of SolitudeInstead we've made the surface, the extent of our past. A ‘blend of absurd, surreal and mundane’ (or ‘kafkaesque’) that is not a space (in the Lefebvrian sense), but a territory (of geopolitical control). It can even be abstracted as an ‘otherness’ - a ‘space where there appears to be none and even impossible to have one’ (E.Rama). But, IT is there. It just appears to be none, is a confirmation of its existence. Its depth has become our distance. Our disappearance.
Our act in ‘dealing with our past’ is superficial, limited to the surface. We haven't shown up for the exchange, yet. No past for future yet. Just the act of recitation. A surface that gives the impression of a space. An apparition. A mirror.
The mirror is, after all, a utopia, since it is a placeless place. In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent: such is the utopia of the mirror. But it is also a heterotopia in so far as the mirror does exist in reality, where it exerts a sort of counteraction on the position that I occupy. From the standpoint of the mirror I discover my absence from the place where I am since I see myself over here. Starting from this gaze that is, as it were, directed toward me, from the ground of this virtual space that is on the other side of the glass, I come back toward myself; I begin again to direct my eyes toward myself and to reconstitute myself there where I am. - Foucault, p.4
Happy Independence Day Albania! 102 years young! A shelf-life of.. What's next? The best laid plans..
It was the last that remained of a past whose annihilation had not taken place because it was still in a process of annihilation, consuming itself from within, ending at every moment but never ending its ending.” - Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude