Fragment and Trace

 

 

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future

And time future contained in time past. 1

(T.S.Eliot)

This two channel 4K video Fragment and trace expresses a recurring theme in my conceptual practice: memory and memorial and fragment and trace.

It concerns a woman whose husband died: suddenly. Her lament includes pacing and measuring. During these activities she summons him back to her consciousness and the remembrance of times past develops into time present. She knows the futility of this process; it’s absurdity and its exquisite agony. But it’s the futility which generates the activity and which lies at its core.

All deaths presage other deaths and sudden death does so with particular acuity.  As the widow awaits her own, she traces with infinite futility and pointlessness, the finitude of human existence. The work questions time, space and existence through an enquiry into what is memory and how might it function and be represented. Central to this is the question of how is time in itself memorial and memory?

The idea of the trace is explored in a fascination with the question of the mark that has barely been made or that may disappear, and asks, was something there?  And, was something left behind? Memory and memorial are not necessarily the same, but also, are not exclusive. The fragments acknowledge and explore the partial nature of the fragment as a shard of memory.

The memorial function of the work is not directly representative, in the commemorative sense- that events or persons are remembered with an object that is their equivalent- but rather asks what action can be done, and what objects can be assembled and what journeys can be taken as memorial.

The themes suggested by my interest in the fragment and the trace involve the pursuit of that which is apparently elusive; the pursuit is not necessarily in order to achieve a goal at the end but to consider the thing that cannot be held. Hence an exploration of what practices can be undertaken that are in the service of memory. Fragment and trace is a digital video made in 2015 for this exhibition. Broadly, my work includes installation, assemblage, drawing, moving image, photography and mapping.  There is an attempt towards the subtle, thoughtful and thought provoking and all of this is underpinned by my inquiry into the concept of the philosophical fragment especially as suggested by such thinkers as Frederich Schlegel.