Memory Building (2020)

My parents died within a few months of each other. They lived in the same house for 60 years, from the day they were married until their deaths. Once they were gone, I was left with my grief, memories of our lives together, and all their possessions, including a well-organized archive of family photos.

In my series, Memory Building, I projected those vernacular photographs onto the surfaces of my childhood home in the same locations that they were originally made and rephotographed the scene. By fusing photos from the past onto the present-day walls, I unearthed six decades of engrained memories and captured my family’s vanishing presence that once permeated our mid-century suburban home—the container for so much of my personal history.

Constructing the projected tableaus made the memories more substantive for me, provided solace for my grieving and created a new family pictorial legacy for future generations. With so many formative experiences rooted and intertwined within this building, saying goodbye to it was also saying goodbye to my parents. Even as the rooms were literally whitewashed in preparation for new owners, my memories continued to resonate within the walls.

"By casting projections of her family members onto the walls of her childhood home, Annette LeMay Burke evokes the poignancy of memory. In 'Rumpus Room,' a group who once gathered together welcomes the viewer, cutting through the linearity of time."
– Jacqui Palumbo, Writer + Producer @ CNN Style