A meditation on memory, loss and the moving image
By Chiara Ambrosio


I lie in my bed, in a house that shivers with every gust of wind, waves lapping rhythmically at its foundation.
Not the house where I was born, still a house that remembers me as a child, its rooms, staircases and corridors caving in around me like the four sides of a camera obscura, myself a reflected image, but made of flesh and bone, at once tangible and ephemeral.

I am sleeping.
I was sleeping- last year, and the year before, and just a short while before that my grandmother slept next door to me, despite the waves that, with their albeit gentle lapping, disturbed her sleep and made her heart beat faster.

Her heart beat faster, and now it is silent and still, and my grandmother is made of paper and light in my hands, and on a screen, but not in the room inside the house that is rocked by the sea.
There she is not to be found made of flesh and bone.

But her smell infiltrates my sleeping, quivering nostrils, and she talks to me in my dreams, and the sensation of her soft, robust body and fur in my hands is strong and real.

And she moves on a screen, where she also breathes and talks, and that moment is now, and yet the distance between us is irrevocable…

For the full article, and many more incredible contributions by the likes of John Berger, Ry Cooder, Iain Sinclair, Jan Svankmajer and Tilda Swinton, please buy Artesian 3 (Time) from the BFI bookstore, The London Review Bookstore, or from here.