All the work around my family and their sites has involved a concern for truth-telling, veracity and an assumption that these may provide transparency: a form of knowing that allows errant energies to settle and coalesce in one place or another. To get things out of my hair and onto the page (in image and/or text), and while doing so to get a sense of which of these things were indeed my concerns and which a resonance of actions past.
At the same time, another concern was present too: to provide some shelter, a wall or veil to ensure privacy and to protect. This seeking shelter has been a strong rationale throughout all time I can think. And so has been the urge to rupture it. Possibly, it is one of the strongest lines of tensions that I move along on a day-to-day basis. This edge, this transition between shelter and exposure is the line that I have been trying to explore afresh over the past 18 months. In earlier times, I had considered it as a distinction between private and public space; and almost all my attention was focussed on the latter and how it became privatised, secured, cordoned off in the politics and practices of contemporary urban change.
The ways in which I currently explore these lines include:
- talking about the personal, the intimate while relating to the world
- subverting and misconstruing the confessional: appearing as if (private), while concerned with something different (public)
- testing out what holds tension and interest: what needs to be true? what needs to be something else?
- names, events, sites
- drawing on other people’s experiences, thoughts
- Talking about something private/ personal at all: placing it on the page in text or image; providing an audio-visual record of it outside myself: it becomes an account, placed by myself in a narrow circle of people who come across it (and potentially read it) on their feed. By placing it outside myself and yet as my post, I can look at each sentence, invocation, allusion and examine its truthiness, its ambiguity and to what extent it relates to my selves. In this sense, while author, I am also its audience, spectator. Over time, I can gauge the change of my response to the narration: I may remove it, alter it (shorten or expand), change the audience or move it across to a different site altogether.
The extent to which something needs to be altered or changed in order to hold a veiled publicness has surprised me: it is often very little that needs a change and alteration along the lines above. I realise that locations are named as true also and that re-reading these, I feel strongly the connection to a specific site (e.g. what my peripheral vision held in view, how the air felt or smelled, how my feet were placed on the ground). And still, in placing it outside and towards others, it becomes transformed: a mediation, and a different form of practice to the one in which the event initially took place.