Remember Me as a Time of Day

Irene Barlian

2019 - Ongoing

It was February 24th, 2016. The day I lost my father.

I remember it clearly: the chaotic street, my mother’s hysterical scream, my father’s lifeless body lying on the ground and his empty gaze. He died from a motorcycle accident. I try to burry those images deep in my thoughts but sometimes my subconscious recall it. Remember Me as a Time of Day is a series that I created to heal my trauma, to divert that dreadful experience into, at least, something more becoming, and simply, to celebrate the life of my late father.

These photographs are an exploration of grief, loss, pain, joy presented in the hybrid of documentary and conceptual photography. I am my own subject to create a father-daughter connection and relationship. The red string between the memory of past and present. I collect family archives, albums, and my father’s belongings, illustrate it with light and shadow as a representation of life and death. Some items have a negative attachment to it, I recapture it in a subtlety beauty hoping that my subconscious would gently shift. I visited places that we would go when I was little. I devised a dream-like place where I am finally together with him. These images hold my most intimate memory and fill the void in my heart.

When you lose someone, overtimes, the images of that person will slowly fade. But the memory will always stick. Remember Me as a Time of Day has become a space to revisit the memory of my father. An imagination of mind where I could return every time I miss his presence. These photographs have become a portal between reality and dream where my universe collide. I still see my father now, he appears in my dreams and that is the only time when I get to see him. But now, I could dance with him in my sea of mind.

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  • My mom keeps an extensive collection of family albums and archives. I found this picture of my dad and me when I was less than a year old.

  • I would dream about my father quite often. That is the only time when I get to see him.

  • The plate number of the motorcycle my father drove the day he died. All his life, he works as a service provider involved in the vehicle registration certificate.

  • The cover of my parents wedding album. I learn more about my parents and their relationship after my father died.

  • My father wore an identification bracelet because he likes to be outdoor and always a sportsman. I think that habit runs down to me now.

  • His sneakers were the first thing that I recognize that day. Every time I look at it, my subconscious brings me to an awful place.

  • In the family album that my mom kept, I found a collection of my father's childhood images. An image of my father that I never knew before. The one in the middle is my father, Rudy, around seven years old.

  • I kept a couple of his clothes and secretly wishing his smell would still be on it.

  • I got married a year after my father passed. I always thought that he would be the one who walked me down the aisle and gave me away. He never has the chance.

  • The last portrait I took of my father when he was showering. He was just out from a month-long hospitalization and and needed additional care.

  • I visited places that would remind me of him. At a young age, I remember being in a pet shop a lot. He loves animals.