“…what is the point of mining the past if not to tell us something significant and potentially useful about the present, and to allow us to realize our roles as agents within it?”
(Vivian Rehberg, “Shock of the Old: What can the past do for the present?”, p.19 Frieze Oct 2010)
Although this was written in a slightly different context (mining art history rather than personal history), I have been thinking about it all day. I feel it is applicable to my own practice, in which I am constantly looking back into my memories of childhood; what is the point of mining my own past unless it can tell me “something significant and potentially useful” about my present? Furthermore, how can I ensure that the outcomes I produce from “mining” my past will be interesting and/or relevant to the viewer? Should my work aim to tell the viewer “something significant and potentially useful”? I need to keep these questions in mind whilst planning my work.
The third and final year has started… I had been worrying about feeling rather unprepared, but after a tutorial, and meeting up with my fellow students, I’m feeling so much more positive and can’t wait to get started on some studio work.
My previous work has mostly fallen into 2 categories; 3D papier-mâché ‘boxes’ that were layered with fragments of text, images, found materials, and lo-fi stop motion animations, both of which explored reconstructing narratives within old memories and dreams. I am now beginning work on combining the two to create a layered structure that contains screens for animations. I am also thinking about involving some sort of mechanical process – perhaps automata style – but have no technical experience of this so some further research is needed…
Since this is my final year, I really want to get the most out of the facilities that the college has to offer, and to push myself to try out ideas that I might have shied away from over the previous two years. Exciting stuff.