Memory is a sensory thing.
It arrives, or we reach for it, in layers and fragments, interleaved bits, well- or dimly-lit. A droplet of melody touches our awareness, spreads and draws us into another time; sight, smell, touch follow our ears, put us there again, with the same emotions perhaps, or experiencing the scene from a spot removed.
When art opens us to returning to a known place, time, emotion, we are given back a bit of ourselves. When art nudges us into encounters with the unfamiliar, knowledge of that place, those emotions can be experienced in relative safety, with the freedom of a voyager, or a voyeur.