Maybe it’s the brightness of this optimistic yellow. A warped Picture-tainer that reads “Memories” embossed in plastic cursive.

I often think about the photograph’s portrayal as evidence. An indication of the “first dimension” described by Thich Nhat Hanh as;

“the events we experience and what we can see and know in our own lifetimes.”

I can’t help but feel the magnitude of this gesture. A compressed room of memories that has been given to me to preserve, until it’s time to be passed on.

In recent months, I have been returning to books that I have not visited since graduate school. In Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, I came across a faded-yellow highlighted passage. Roland Barthes writes;

“It is said that mourning, by its gradual labour, slowly erases pain; I could not, I cannot believe this; because for me, Time eliminates the emotion of loss (I do not weep), that is all. For the rest, everything has remained motionless. For what I have lost is not a Figure (the Mother), but a being; and not a being, but a quality (a soul): not the indispensable, but the irreplaceable.”

Troy Michie was born in 1985, in El Paso, Texas. He is an interdisciplinary painter and collage artist. His work engages black consciousness, Latinx experience, immigration and queerness through assemblage and juxtaposition. Utilizing textile, garment and archival paper, from newsprint to pornography, Michie subverts dominant narratives by placing past and present in confrontation. The resulting work is a non-linear exotification of political resistance and transgressive self-expression and gesture.