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Inside the Experience of Making Personal Archive #1 [A Work in Progress]: The Art of Inquiry

This article considers our collaborative process of creating the exhibition ‘Personal Archive #1 [A work in progress]’ and examines our experiences of remembering and misremembering our shared past. It will draw on Tim Ingold’s concept ‘art of inquiry’ to articulate a kind of thinking/doing that places value on lived experience and on alternative archives as sites of knowledge and […]

Archive, Empathy, Memory: The Resurrection of Joyce Reason

This paper uses the prism of archival, ancestral research to consider the nature of our relationship to the lives of the Others that we find in the past. The particular Other within this paper, the intergenerational haunting that appears in words and in walks, in stones, photographs and in memories, is Joyce Reason. My Great Aunt, whom I never […]

A Cast of Thousands: Stela at Militärhistorisches Museum Der Bundeswehr, Dresden

In 2014, New Zealand artist, Kingsley Baird, built a temporary memorial in the German Armed Forces’ Military History Museum in Dresden. The memorial comprised two elements: a stainless steel ‘cenotaph’ and 18,000 biscuits in the shape of soldiers of different nationalities who fought in the First World War. On 12 July 2014, almost 100 years […]

The Excess of Memory: Rhetorical Interventions of Weems, Schuleit and Attie

Rhetorical scholars interested in public memory have typically attended to permanent displays such a monuments or museums. This essay examines the rhetorical texture of installation artists who engage memory. These installations are found to engage aspects of the nonrepresentational dimensions of the experience of memory in ways markedly different from more permanent memorial displays.

Fragments of/on Memory

Cultures of memory cultivate our memory by encouraging the displacement of exterior historical events by the interiority of singular memory, rendered collective through an ethics and politics of empathic communicability. The assumption being that, while we are the products of history, we are the producers of memory, and thus can be held responsible for what […]

Connecting with Tragedy Through Landscapes of Memory: Memorial Design, Tourism, and the Post-Genocide Memoryscapes of Cambodia, Rwanda, and Germany 

In recent years the act and practice of memorialisation has become increasingly complex due to the influence of globalisation. As the world grows ever smaller, the opportunities offered to us to engage the international memoryscape are many and far-reaching. Memoryscapes—memorial landscapes—are today infused by the tension between local needs and global expectations, offering highly concentrated […]

De Architectura as Architectural Time Capsule: On Inventing a New Classical Memory

It is well established that archaeologists, architectural historians, heritage planners, and design theorists are linked within a disciplinary gaze towards the architectural past. The link is one that is founded in the classical tradition that in turn is bounded by Vitruvius’ 10 books on architecture: De architectura. The treatise (a memory container for classical architecture), […]

The Event Horizon: Returning “After the Fact”

“Trauma is a disorder of memory and time. This is why in his early writings Sigmund Freud used the metaphor of the camera to explain the unconscious as the place where bits of memory are stored until they are developed, like prints from black and white negatives, into consciously accessible recollections.” The relationship between the […]

Re-making Memory on Matiu and Other “Settlement” Sites 

This article, written by a historian descended from Māori (and Pākehā) early settlers in Wellington, has three purposes. It reinscribes some whānau (extended family) history, hapu (sub-tribe) and iwi (tribal) histories onto the sites that co-hosted the Contained Memory Conference 2010: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Massey University, Wellington. It then explores […]

Between Remembrance and Recreation: Containing Memory in Urban Landscapes 

Throughout the world, communities are increasingly concerned with remembering and documenting their histories. Monuments, memorials, and interpretive sites are being created at an accelerated pace, an international phenomenon of memorialisation which has developed since the 1980s and is unequalled since the decade after World War I. In Loose Space: Possibility and Diversity in Urban Life, […]

Containing Marginal Memories: The Melancholy Landscapes of Hart Island (New York), Cockatoo Island (Sydney), and Ripapa Island (Christchurch) 

Contained within tight geographical margins, islands are places where memories are intensified and heightened. The antithesis of the dreamy palm-covered paradises of travel brochures are the urban islands that lurk in blind spots, dark and brooding. Spatially and socially marginalised, such islands become memorials to the shadowy dimensions of civilisation: prisons, landfills, military bases, lunatic […]

Remembering Katyn: Mourning, Memory, and National Identity

This article examines the connection between mourning, memory, and national identity in Poland after World War II, with specific reference to the Katyn Massacre. In 1940, approximately 22,000 Polish citizens were executed by the Soviet secret police under Stalin’s orders, and then buried in mass graves. In 1943, German soldiers discovered one of the graves […]

The Museum Junkerhaus: Monument to an Unhappy Love

From the 1950s to the 1970s, the sign “Monument to an Unhappy Love” stood in front of the Junkerhaus, referencing the inhabitant’s unrequited love for his master’s daughter while a carpentry journeyman in Hamburg. Built in 1890 by architect, woodcarver, and painter, Karl Junker (1850-1912), the Junkerhaus is a “museum-house” that integrates living and creative […]

Thinking Inside the Box: Objects of Mental Space in the Psychoanalytic Consulting Room

In his enigmatic appeal to psychoanalysts to work without memory or desire, Wilfred Bion (1970) warned against saturating the mental field of the analytic dyad with past and future elements. Doing so, he said, risks impinging on present sense impressions and infusing the patient’s emerging associations with specific meaning, relegating them to occurrences of knowing […]

Re-enacting Traces: The Historical Building as Container of Memory

In this article I refer to an aspect of my recent artistic practice—“wall-wounds”—that was created in response to the site of a former lunatic asylum. This was carried out to explore how art can operate in the interstices between historical narratives, memory, and material evidence relating to the inhabitation of institutional space. The key artistic […]

Bedouin Memory Between City and Desert 

The redrawing of Middle East boundaries by colonial powers following World War I, and the discovery of oil in the Persian Gulf region from the 1920s to 1950s ushered in more change in two generations than the Bedouin tribes had experienced since the founding of Islam. Urban centres rapidly expanded and new national boundaries created […]

Settler Dreaming

The redrawing of Middle East boundaries by colonial powers following World War I, and the discovery of oil in the Persian Gulf region from the 1920s to 1950s ushered in more change in two generations than the Bedouin tribes had experienced since the founding of Islam. Urban centres rapidly expanded and new national boundaries created […]

“To Fill This Void Land”: Acclimatisation as Mnemonic Device in Victorian New Zealand

The New Zealand landscape has been irrevocably changed and shaped through the intervention of British colonisation. The same stubborn refusal of New Zealand’s nineteenth-century British settlers to wear clothes that suited the climate, to have anything other than a northern hemisphere Christmas, or to orient their houses towards the warm north rather than the cold […]