Remembrance of things parsed 1
Original Creative Work
Polyphony: CERAH Showcase
Edith Cowan University / Gallery 25
School of Arts and Humanities / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Educations and Communications
It is memory, rather than knowledge, that often becomes an impulse that stimulates creativity. Our collaboration, called ‘Remembrance of Things Parsed’2, is a narrative of remembrance and redefinition that tries to revisit, capture and share family memories from our respective cultural backgrounds. Mitchell, a visual artist, comes from an Appalachian dirt farmer coal-miner family in America and in a café partnership in Western Australia. Meanwhile, Adji, a writer, comes from a Chinese-Indonesian family who owns a small restaurant in the skin fold of Surabaya, East Java. The bottles embody our shared history with family eateries and pre-refrigeration farm life. We collect, archive, juxtapose and merge artifacts that reflect our families’ life journeys, both cultural and physical: food, collectibles, plants, currency, separately and conjointly, preserved and decomposing, in small botties to create narratives, utopic and dystopic. These are everyday objects from our respective everyday lives, past present and future, embedded with both nostalgia and trauma, decay and destruction, decline and micro-aggressions. We shift the objects inside the bottles as we work. These bottled objects are simultaneously static and dynamic, representational and abstract. They juxtapose and merge past, present, and future, realities and fictions, Chinese Indonesian and Appalachian American.
2 We got the inspiration from a journal article, ‘Remembrance of Things Parsed: Story Structure and Recall’ (1977) written by Jean M. Mandler and Nancy S. Johnson, published in Cognitive Psychology 9: 111-151.
Polyphony: CERAH Showcase was exhibited at Gallery 25, Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley from 12 to 19 February 2021.