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For items tagged with: trauma

The Profanity of Memory: Temporality and the Rhetoric of ‘Too Soon’

The temporality of public memory is perhaps most evident when there are objections that some irreverent comment is made ‘too soon’ after a traumatic event. This essay explores this dimension of sacred temporality and a corollary sense of sacred space in relation to moments and spaces of remembrance.

Witness: An Autobiographical Performance

The song ‘Witness’ is an autobiographical telling of the performer’s experiences as a witness in a court case in the summer of 2014. The presentation takes the form of a Pecha Kucha — a 20×20 presentation format showing 20 slides, each for 20 seconds. The slides forming the background to the performance are solid, objective, permanent. They present the […]

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.

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 […]

Materialising Memory: The Public Lives of Roadside Crash Shrines

This is a study in two parts. First I explore the containment and effervescence of traumatic memory in roadside crash shrines, vernacular memorial assemblages built by private individuals at sites where family or friends have died in automobile accidents. Secondly I suggest that the ongoing production of spaces of mourning not only materialises memory, but […]