In some uncanny way, every image is made out of memory. Drawing form life provides the best example of how memory informs drawing: the moment we move eyes away form the subject, we start forgetting it. Speed of forgetfulness is faster than speed of memory and we end up losing data in milliseconds. That’s why we cannot draw exactly what we see, but what we can memorize. More time we spend studying, more data we collect and display.
Photography is glorified for the accuracy to represent reality, because it collects and displays data quickly and effectively. But, photography is able to capture only reflected light, not a true nature of substances. Photographic image is a reflection of a fleeing light, an ever changing condition, not a true state of the world. Whenever we describe photography as “real”, we have to take in consideration that “graphos” only means capturing rejected “photons”.
On the other side, drawing is an extended engagement with the world, which requires duration and memorization. Drawing penetrates the surface of objects and makes the “invisible” visible. It allows us to register activities in the void…and unseen thoughts or dreams.
Amount of “memory” declares our relationship with the image: our interest in image is directly related to the level of engagement. This brings to light the qualitative aspect of memory, or in other words, what we claim to know.