Radioactive Memory

Introduced to Orson Welles’ iconic film, Citizen Kane, as a student at the National College of Art and Design in the 1980’s, artist Darina Meagher revisits the film to explore the concept of ‘radioactive memory’. Citizen Kane opens with Kane on his deathbed murmuring his last word “Rosebud”. Through- out the film, “Rosebud” is the enigma which the narrator seeks to solve. It is described as a radioactive memory by Peter Bradshaw, in the Guardian Newspaper.
According to Bradshaw: Rosebud is more probably Welles’s intuition of the illusory flashback effect of memory that will affect all of us, particularly at the very end of our lives: the awful conviction that childhood memories are better, simpler, more real than adult memories – that childhood memories are the only things which are real. The remembered details of early existence – moments, sensations and images – have an arbitrary poetic authenticity which is a by- product of being detached from the prosaic context and perspective which encumbers adult minds, the rational understanding which would rob them of their mysterious force. (25 April 2015)
Through a call-out, Meagher has gathered stories and images that trigger childhood memories for the respondent, each one just as authentic to its owner as “Rosebud” was to Kane.
11-14 October, 2017. Pallas Projects/Studios,115–117 The Coombe, Dublin 8
June 12 – 30, 2018. Café@RuaRed, South Dublin Arts Centre