There have actually been three iterations of this piece of work. Each performance of the work has not only been quite different in form and intent but in each case it has held a different significance for my research and so I’m dealing with each separately in this archive. The most-recent took place at Kode II in Bergen, in February 2020; the second occurred in the UN buffer-zone in Nicosia, in October 2019. This performance, at the Cracking the Established Order conference, at De Montfort University, in the UK, in June 2019, was the work’s first performance.

 

The development of this work has been significant in various ways for the development of my research: first, it both broadened and in doing so, clarified my understanding of the term “site” and its significance for my work; secondly, despite having dabbled with autoethnography in the past, this marked the first time during my current research that I had deliberately and explicitly placed my own personal experience at the heart of a sustained process of creating a piece of work, in this instance, drawing on a process of auto-fictional writing, weaving an account based on my own experience with responses to other texts which also informed my work. In so doing, the process of creating this work allowed me on the one hand to better understand and articulate my own position in relation to my research and at the same time, situate my inquiry amongst a wider field of cultural production, inquiry and knowledge production in a way that was appropriate to my art practice; creatively embedding that “referencing” within my process of making; making it immanent to that process not an adjunct to it.

 

Where my previous activity had tended to take [encounters with] physical spaces as the starting points for my work, tying my notion of site to that of physical locale, ‘Between our words…’ focused on the idea that our personal histories also represent sites. Specifically, sites which offer their own gaps in the form of interpersonal silences, whose contours can be explored using art practice.

 

When I embarked on making this work, it was the texts around which my own auto-fictive narrative weaves, which I understood to be the most important sites with which I was working (text as site), it was only gradually, as I wrote, that the emphasis shifted and I came to the realisation that it was my own autobiography which constituted the work’s principal site.

 

Although the personal narrative at the heart of this work is an auto-fictive rather than strictly autobiographical one, the recognition that creating it prompted, of the ways in which my research’s preoccupations speak to and are grounded in attempts to come to terms with my own personal experience has been a profound one, inevitably shifting my understanding of my research and of the place of personal experience in knowledge production.

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Extract from blog post, August 2019

 

'This work draws on autobiographical material to create a narrative around which other narratives and scenes, based on characters and moments from literary fiction, cinema and art-practice are woven. These literary, cinematic and artistic fragments are recounted and in some cases freely re-imagined, as a means of thinking about the gaps, silences and relationships that the autobiographical material at the core of the work, discloses.'

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July 2019 'Between our words, I will trace your presence' (first iteration) performed at 'Cracking the Established Order'

above: video documentation, performance of the first iteration of Bteween our words I will trace your presence, De Montfort University, June 2019


 

Introduction

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Oct-Dec 2016, rolled bedding, recently vacated apartment room, Nygardsgaten, Bergen. Photograph 

 

Oct-Dec 2016, unoccupied rooms, forensic investigation training house, Nottingham. Photographs

 

Oct-Dec 2016, unoccupied room, forensic investigation training house. Video

 

Apr 2017 recently vacated room, asylum hostel, Voss. Photograph

 

Apr 2017 recently vacated room, asylum hostel, Voss. Video work

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Feb 2017, 'Birdsong'.

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Mar 2017 material from PKU Spring Forum, first presentation

 

Mar 2018 PKU Spring Forum, second presentation

 

Apr 2018 paper delivered to 2018 SAR conference, Plymouth

 

Mar 2019 PKU Spring Forum, third and final presentation

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May 2017 'A performance after a performance', Voksenåsen, Video work

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Aug - Oct 2017 video work: coats in corridor, chairs in gymnasium, nr. Helsinki; rolled-bedding, recently vacated apartment, Bergen

 

Nov 2017 the empty walls of DH's studio

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Oct 2017 'Between, Before, After, Elsewhere'. Exhibition at Kunstgarasjen, Bergen

 

Jan 2018 KMD, image and situatedness

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Feb 2018 'The objects perform themselves', Bergen. Photo & Video documentation of performance

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Mar 2018 CCFT fieldwork, Agios Sozomenos, Cyprus

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June 2018 initial tests with hospital ventilators. Video documentation

 

Apr-May 2019 'It's only when I rest that I sense your presence', installation, HKS, Bergen

 

Apr-May 2019 It's only when I rest that I sense your presence, text work, HKS, Bergen

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July 2018 'In silence', performance, Berlin. Audio realisation of performance and photo documentation

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Nov 2018 A Foreign Body: Absence, a denial of presence. Transplanting a Sitka spruce tree. Tælavåg. Video work

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Feb 2019 'Foreign Bodies, Empty Rooms', Bergen Natural History Museum. Audio-visual realisation of performance

 

Aug - Oct 2019 'The Wrong Bodies', installation, Bergen Natural History Museum

 

Aug - Oct 2019 'The Wrong Bodies', text work, Bergen Natural History Museum

 

Oct 2019 The Museum's Wrong Bodies, presentation at Bergen Natural History Museum

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July 2019 'Between our words, I will trace your presence' (1st iteration) performed at Cracking the Established order

 

Oct 2019 Between our Words... (2nd iteration), performed in UN Buffer Zone, Nicosia, Cyprus

 

Feb 2020 'Between our words, I will trace your presence' (3rd iteration) performance at Borealis Festival. Audio documentation

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Feb - Mar 2020 abortive (pre-Covid) plans for final artistic result at Bergen Natural History Museum.

 

May 2020 Lecture on revised work in progress toward final artistic result, to staff and students at KMD

 

October 2020 Artist's book, The Wrong Bodies, based on work on the body and institutional silence, at Bergen Natural History Museum

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Artistic Result

 

Reflection


Above: Q&A following the performance of the first iteration of Bteween our words I will trace your presence, De Montfort University, June 2019