‘fragments I have shored against my ruins’

Jen Webb, John White, Paul Munden, Paul Hetherington

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

Abstract

Western culture typically adopts a binary approach to memory and forgetting, identifying the former a value, the latter a loss (Dessingué & Winter 2015). Forgetting-as-loss is very evident in the the lives of those suffering such conditions as dementia; and even among those without neurological disease, forgetting can result in very negative outcomes. But memory can be equally damaging, particularly (the typically disordered) memories associated with traumatic injury (Brewin 2018). In this work we explore the relationship between these two elements, reading them not in oppositional terms but as factors that can be brought into connection: memory is, after all, dependent upon forgetting, and forgetting is an important factor in a healthy life. Drawing on Ricoeur, we consider the role of both ‘external’ and ‘intimate’ knowledge in productive forgetting (2004: 428) through the use of fragments. The installation combines decontextualized objects found in junk shops (traces of other people’s lives), fragmentary poetic texts that draw on memories, and the traces in our memories of what has been forgotten to present a space for thought.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherBelconnen Arts Centre
Sizedimensions variable
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2021

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