Making Sense of the Material Past
Past, present and future are three different and interconnected modes of being. We call “past” everything that seems to have vanished but may be partly “conserved” in our (individual or collective) memory. “Material past” would apply to all the objects that make our environment. Traditionally, archaeological objects (in their diversified scales, from the entire landscape to the small fragment of an artefact) were necessarily old, obsolete ones: things out of use, eventually enigmatic by nature, to be deciphered and conserved in museums. But we may also look at the entire material reality as an archaeological one, embedded in temporality. How do we make sense of this proliferation of past references? If modernity has implied the emergence of an elitist archaeology, late modernity, connected to mass tourism, would demand a “popular archaeology”. But it risks to be a commodity as any other form of knowledge, turned into “information”, an object of gaze for a “fast past” consumption. How can we try to invert this state of affairs (the industrialization of the world as a “museum”, as an mystified “heritage”), in order to build a new sense of community? My entire work always intended to be open to different suggestions, instead of giving an “impossible” response.