Remembering as an act of obscuring

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In this sequence from Hiroshima mon amour (32’57” – 43’45”), Alain Resnais sets the private realm of memory against the public sphere of history to explore the representation of the past as mutual and collective construction of that which is partly remembered and partly imagined.

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Memory of touch in Laurie Anderson’s ‘Heart of a Dog’

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“One cannot know another time through visual information alone.”[1] Our memories are stored in the body as much as in the mind; corporeal as much as cerebral. Films that deal with memories must, therefore, do more than simply convey sounds and images. They must speak of and to the other senses. Laurie Anderson’s experimental doco-drama Heart of a Dog animates intimate memories encoded in touch by shifting from optical to haptic vision[2] and enabling the cinematic image to reach the “senses that are close to the body.”[3]

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Tvrtko Buric, Behind Borders

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As a sort of parameter, (b)order encapsulates habit. It informs the way we view and engage with what surrounds us. When he breaks open the form, Buric shatters the otherwise solidified frame of our attention and, consequently, our fixed, naturalised way of seeing. The defiance of the border of the frame is paired with the defiance of the border of the space. The multiple projection planes are suspended in space, cutting through it and resisting the confinement of the two-dimensional wall. As viewers, we are invited to move around the work and explore that which exists at the edge of perception (at its border). This shifted angle of vision is an anamorphic strategy[1] that distorts the world picture as we know it.

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Eastern Thoughts: a travel memoir by Marta Maia and Vitor Queiroz

“And everything starts at the airport. […] Structures that put us closer to the rest of the world and that separate us from the people who have seen us grow.”

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Eastern Thoughts is a poetic, philosophical, and tender reflection on the phenomenon of travelling. Writer Marta Maia and photographer Vitor Queiroz traverse 1708 km through Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand to bring us an inward contemplation on the feelings attached to journeying, the complexity (and complicity) of tourism, the meaning of home and belonging, our attachment to memory, and more. This book will be of interest to and a consolation for all those travelers at heart who constantly seek out for an embracing place, and are always a little bit homesick.
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Photography.Ontology. – fugitivity, fixity, anxiety, confusion, …

Words can’t represent the sensation of freedom; the age of freedom will be the age of pictures.’ Frederick Douglass, 19th century

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The text at the entrance of the current Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales notes: “Some scholars suggest that Frida first saw herself in a photograph before she discovered mirrors.” Khalo was well aware of the power of photography to fashion and shape ones identity and she used it candidly to construct hers. So was Frederick Douglass, the late nineteenth-century orator and former slave who early on recognised the contradictory nature of photographic medium – both its objectifying and its revolutionary power. Douglass’ relationship to photography was one of the topics discussed in the recent Photography.Ontology. symposium held at the University of Sydney and developed by the university research cluster Photographic Cultures.

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