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BOXES beyond borders


Benita Stoney
Ireland 1999

This box is about memory. The interior, the little empty scarlet sarcophagus, symbolizes that which is memorized, which can never be recaptured exactly; the red on the outside is only an echo, and is overlaid, confused, obscured, and changed by later colors. I mourn the loss of that intimate vermilion promise.

I am a painter and a writer, and for the past four years I have been writing a large biography, of a couple whose lives overlapped with mine, though I never met them. I have spent these years sifting other people’s memories, both written and spoken, in pursuit of the exact, impossible hue of my subjects’ lives. This, too, is represented here.

I have only one chance. My box sails out across the waters of the world. Bon voyage, box. I’ll remember you.