The Amnesiac, 2014

Author: Willie Doherty

HD video installation.

Colour, 5:1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.

Length: 10:00 minutes.

In this video, Doherty delves deeper into his obsession with landscapes as warehouses of memories and unresolved trauma. It takes on a more narrative style, albeit with echoes of previous works.

The Amnesiac starts and ends with an unidentified man driving a car over a tree-filled landscape. We sense that what is between the trees can be seen as a return to a particular place, a place half remembered or half forgotten, or a momentary distraction from the tedium of driving, a daydream or break with routine.

In a context of moral ambiguity in which one feels pressured to forget the events of the past in order to build a future, Doherty’s concept of amnesia resides in the spontaneous moments in which a casual word or a familiar scent transports us into the past, to the thing we cannot forget, the image that is impossible to erase.