Original Creative Work
Polyphony: CERAH Showcase
Edith Cowan University / Gallery 25
School of Arts and Humanities
Heim n: home, institution, clubhouse, approved school, reform school heim adv: home Heimat n: home, native town, native place, homeland, home town, habitat, biotope, native country (Langenscheidt, 2020)
“The German word unheimlich is the opposite of heimlich, heimisch, meaning “familiar,” “native,” “belonging to the home”; and we are tempted to conclude that what is “uncanny” is frightening precisely because it is not known and familiar. … It is not difficult to see that this definition is incomplete. ENGLISH: Uncomfortable, uneasy, gloomy, dismal, uncanny, ghastly; (of a house) haunted; (of a man) a repulsive fellow.” (Freud, Das Unheimliche, 1919) Karali comes up with a made-up German word Heimatvoll1 to challenge the experience of being forced to feel unheimlich abroad, in one’s own country, and, hence, in one’s own body. In doing so, the uncertain space that Karali’s image occupies in Thackeray’s painting reverses the disadvantageous position of multiple and hybrid identities into an advantageous one. The collaborative work emphasizes the condition of feeling unhomely not as a state of homelessness or physical departure, but as the sense of cognitive and emotional departure from one’s own self. It highlights the importance of building and promoting resilience in minority-ethnic and migrant communities.
1 The word Heimatvoll traces the German word heimatlos (stateless person) which describes a civilian who has been denationalized or whose country of origin cannot be determined or who cannot establish a right to the nationality claimed.
Polyphony: CERAH Showcase was exhibited at Gallery 25, Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley from 12 to 19 February 2021.
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