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Higgins, D. Down On The Farm (DOTF)- 2015 ongoing. Artefacts produced in collaboration, partnership and financial support with Latvian National Museum of Art Riga, Lithuanian National museum of Art Kaunas, Latvian and Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and Solovky State Museum Reserve Russia and ACE. DOTF is being critically evaluated through a series of one-person exhibitions, publications, web presence and education programme that builds on previous research ‘unloud’ 2004 -2014. DOTF is using artistic research to articulate and contribute to the dialectic narratives that are forming from the legacy of particular Soviet histories. It asks how the ‘image’ and the act of ‘making images’ combined with ‘where the image performs’ can offer ways to question, negotiate, communicate or describe moments of erasure or remembering in direct reference to specific cultural narratives. This is situated through an ongoing unique study of The Solovki archipelago in north Russia, site of the most sacred founding Russian Orthodox monastery that was also Stalin’s ‘mother’ of Russian gulags and inter-related narrative historical episodes. DOTF utilises practice based artistic research and autoethnographic methods to explore and contests how to (re) integrate artefacts and actions through art into historically active conversations concerning specific contemporary narrative experiences of violence, displacement and testimony. The work articulates with contemporary questions of ethics and representation addressed in particular by the Russian painter Borisov, filmmakers Goldovskaya, M and Goddard, JL and theorists Herling,G Agamben,G, Arendt,H, Applebaum,A, Alexsevich,S and Didi-Huberman,G. The distinctive contribution of DOTF to this debate is to situate painting in relation to the contested role of documentary photography and film-making, both through the process by which it came about, and its form when presented. Utilising polyphonic narrative structures and numerous interwoven material montages to contest indexical or capricious documentary facts.
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