This excerpt from Bluets by Maggie Nelson highlights the ambivalence of the greek term pharmakon. Bluets is an essay where the autor reflects around the color blue, its cultural use as well as intimate thoughts, melancolia, and the role of writing.
In our research, this ambivalent term is applied to the double agency of images, that we considered simultaneously poison - as carriers of violence, hurtful representations - and remedy - having the potential to function as interfaces of symbolic healing and repair.
The question if the written word kills memory or aids it, applies to images as well: does manipulating an image destroys the memory behing it, or does it revive it?
Laurence Aëgerter, Healing Plants for Hurt Landscapes, Ruta graveolens i.a. – Barrington crater, Arizona, USA, 72 x 110 cm, 2015