Performance still. Photo of the performance taken by Peter Memmel. 84x59cm. Courtesy of the artist.
This doctoral project examines the reconceptualisation of memory traces emerging from trauma and loss. It suggests potential new models of constructing the self through visual images and poetry, ranging from various media including artist’s books, mixed media works, prints, photographs and digital projection. The complementary notions of illness and recovery, separation and homecoming, vulnerability and strength correspond to the dichotomies of memory and oblivion manifesting through imagery.
In this exhibition, the metaphor of ‘Night Watch’ is becoming a switch-point between my constant metaphors of remembering and forgetting. In the work Night Watch, consisting of fourteen photographic prints and a digital projection, the purpose was to merge the pain vibrating through body organs (the memory of personal pain), with the perfection and healing power of nature. I installed the ultraviolet blue silk-printed images of my body organs onto trees, and in the process of letting them recover (in a symbolic sense), I simply sat and meditated. In this way, a new memory of the self (of the ontological body) can be created.
The work draws its inspiration from the early experiences I had in both of my homelands: Turkey and Australia.
This exhibition comprises the practical component of Elif Sezen’s PhD research.