5th Textile Art of Today Triennial Without Borders, Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
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This creative practice-based research project evaluated experimentation in making, methods and processes that underlie the development of innovative conceptual fabric and fibre works. Significant explorations and research into techniques explored the capturing of the conceptual and emotive qualities of the temporal and the fragile, in signifying the phantasmagoria and ‘otherness’ of the past within the present. Additionally, it articulated the temporal nature of memory through a crossing of thresholds between critical practice and anthropological research. In Memoriam extended a previous examination of family archival material uncovering hidden narratives, to transform existing hierarchies of knowledge of memory studies and post memory, i.e. how received memory is constructed by future generations (Hirsch).
In Memoriam brings together a series of four portrait photographs of the same person at different times in their life, from a photographic archive of the Wilson family from the Victorian era to the 1980s. The installation diffuses the ‘hauntology’ of post-cultural memory (Derrida, 1994), instilling a sense of a ‘worn out tapestry’ of the temporal, that references the anonymous ghosts that once flourished and laughed and walked the town, now decaying in memories. In this way, memory becomes fragile in narratives that provide ideological and political alternatives and, as post memory articulates, in that which has been inhibited in a restructured social memory (Gibbons, 2007: p.73). The work has been significant in stimulating discussion on personal recollections of family, family values and shared social memory for exhibition audiences, by capturing the aura of memory in a unique combination of fibre and image.
In Memoriam was selected to tour Eastern Europe in the 5th Textile Art of Today Triennial Without Borders.