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Transforming histories: The visual disclosure of contentious pasts.

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Gough, J (2001) Transforming histories: The visual disclosure of contentious pasts. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This project investigates new ways to apprehend and
visually reconfigure aspects of concealed or disputed pasts.'
The intention of this work is to enable a viewer to
experience obscured or nearly forgotten narrativesnarratives
of memory, time, absence, location and
representation. The works utilise found and constructed
objects and techniques from the visual arts, the museum,
the library, the shop, the garden.
One common methodology is the arrangement of multiple
objects to activate a surface optically, and encourage a
viewer to read it as a means of temporarily holding the
objects in place. In doing so they find themselves part of
the work. These pieces are experiments in understanding
how viewers can travel around an artwork and in this
process move their position back and forth, flickering
between past and present and personal and national
memory. Most works incorporate ideas of movement or
stasis either technically or in the story which they may be
partially relating to the viewer.
This suggestion of waiting or of motion summons a viewer
to enter into the work as a timekeeper. This is an anxious
position where many of the materials inviting curiosity,
and initially implying the humorous, accrue a sinister edge
as the viewer reaches a point of understanding his/her
caged predicament within the work. For the first time all these works will be exhibited together.
Showing them in different locations raised considerations
of setting both spatial and conceptual - and recent works
have developed that are about journeying across time and
place.
The investigation has emerged from very personal
considerations of the place of memory, forgetting, loss,
denial and the potency of the past within my own family.
Artists who have explored similar terrain, visually
reconfiguring the marginal or the textual, include Gordon
Bennett, Fiona Foley, Tracey Moffatt, Christian Boltanski
and Fred Wilson.
This project has been a journey through many stories
across time. These have inevitably been incorporated into
my own memory, my own life, and my own increasingly
open narrative of deciphering self in the process of relating
the past. Each work has been built from the outcomes of
the last, and represents a claiming within a larger
consideration of ways to personally invoke and involve
nation, viewer and self in acknowledging our entangled
histories.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

Copyright the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2007 01:42
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:54
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