The act of recovering material does – to an extent – undermine grand narratives of the creator-author. For many the individual is a myth, a premise invented through and for the insufficiencies of consumerism. The personal is historical, and instead we find ourselves met in many moments with an inability to escape plurality. To look at the past calls into view a question asked by Denise Riley: How do we know the past is over? In burrowing out of the past – through reconstituted language, found imagery, novel processes – we assert this question. The material realities of history underscore the past as existing still now, in particular through the formation of place and identity. A suspicion around nostalgia is healthy; nostalgia is predicated on identification with the image of a past that never was. Nostalgia is a corrupted past. How much can we trust recollections, nostalgia in its artificial protectant, and the power of former narratives in conjuring our present and ourselves? The weaving of new constellations of meaning is what we can trace through the works – from a starting point of confusion that we understand as memory. Image: Simeon Barclay, They Don’t Like It Up ‘Em, installation view at Cubitt Gallery, London, 2016. Photography by Mark Blower, courtesy of Cubitt Artists.