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Spatial hysteresis : glimpses of our yielding place


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Bleach, L 2007 , 'Spatial hysteresis : glimpses of our yielding place', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Hysteresis is the extent to which the strain in a material reflects the stress
to which it has been subjected; it also refers to the time lag exhibited by
the material in reacting to this stress. In this project the material is our
constructed place. Spatial hysteresis makes reference to theories in
spatial history, particularly perceptions of place and landscape in postcolonial
The project examines the signs of strain as points of rupture in our urban
veneer, which offer poetic potential and an opportunity for an intimate
engagement within the prosaic urban realm. It also investigates the way
things within their framework fall apart, and it is the ongoing maintenance
of the framework that is as interesting as the emergence within the
fractures. The project considers our imprint on our place, and the varying
degrees to which the pressure of the print is sustained and maintained.
The project reveals glimpses of a yielding urban landscape under stress.
The research has been pursued through a series of notional clusters,
which serve to group the various investigations of the hysteresis in
question. These clusters house pertinent artists and writers whose work
inform and contextualise the project. The scope of artists is broad as their
work may resonate with the project through concept and/or material.
Artists such as Robert Smithson, Charles Simonds and Joan Grounds
have been important for their ability to poetically and intimately describe a
place within the perfunctory urban realm. Sophie Ristelhueber and Leni
Hoffman have been influential for their works which deal with wounds,
scars and cracks. Writers such as Susan Stewart, Gaston Bachelard,
Miwon Kwon and Paul Carter have offered the project a contextual
structure through concepts of intimacy and immensity, souvenir, poetic
space, locational aesthetics and how landscape is claimed and absorbed.
The thematic nature of the groups has acted as anchors and departure
points from which the bodies of work that make up the project have been
There are four main clusters that provide the conceptual basis for the four
groups of work. Briefly these clusters are:
• an invisible ongoing creepage of place;
• the construction and reconstruction of place;
• intervention and emergence;
• cracks and scars - the erasure and memory of place.
This research project incorporates a body of work that combines off-site
installations and interventions that respond directly with a place, and
studio-based gallery work, which brings the outside in and explores how
the discrete may evoke the monumental. Some of the work has grown
conceptually and materially from my previous practice, while other work
produced within the project has been significant for trying new mediums,
applications and ideas.
The work speaks of a yielding, groaning urban landscape. It acts as a
document of the performance of repair/maintenance implicit in the
constructed landscape, revealing an intimacy within the repair. The work
examines the blur between fact and fiction in the recounting of a
landscape changed, as a conceptual indication of the hysteresis at large.
In our urban constructed environment, the sites of impermanence, fray
and repair can be seen as sites of vitality, offering opportunities for an
intimate engagement within the typically perfunctory urban realm. The
work speaks to these sites of intimacy; it accentuates an act of encounter
and encourages space for a simultaneous and imaginary life. These sites
are like anecdotes; they are not part of the official history or constructed
reality of the place, yet their presence induces an emotional engagement
with it.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Bleach, L
Keywords: Installations (Art), Site-specific art
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2007 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).

Additional Information:

CD-ROMs contain accompanying material. Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 2007. Includes bibliographical references

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