Deconstructing the Narrative; Making the Illusive Physical. (2011)

Curated by Georgina Gomez
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Visualising cognitive processes such as thoughts, emotions and ideas can present the conceptual as physical; externalising them so that they can be preserved to memory. Joseph Campbell, a theorist on narrative structures, wrote “Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.” All the artworks exhibited are “alive” and interactive, whether their narrative structure is discarded or embraced. Fictive or real, these pieces take the formerly passive observer of narrative form and force viewers to create an individualised, illusional “story-scape”. The amorphous nature of such visual envisioning echoes the structural boundlessness of the internet itself, and of human consciousness. ------------------------------------------------------------------ My Lover in Unequal Parts connects pictures with words of a fictional person seeking a lost lover. The narrative is loosely drawn, and is nonlinear. The artist discloses that “…the lover is revealed through all and one….” The photographs are equivocal to allow the viewer to explore their own memories of uncertain bearing. The lover could be anything; the artist imposes no authoritative metaphorical significance. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Similarly, The Email Flyer Project by Tim Devin also offers participants the opportunity to interact with a fictitious narrative. By leaving copies of an email exchange between disengaged lovers on car windshields, Devin attempted to engage individuals in the extemporised drama. Recipients emailed responses expressing compassion for the characters’ situation, thus, the recount of a real person’s reality becomes entwined in an imaginary world. This is a formless narrative; comprised for the participant to a moment rich with the meaning of being alive, without any introduction or denouement. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Luca Bertini’s 800-178968 also blurs the boundaries between the real and imagined. After calling an advertised number, the participant is assaulted by phone calls intended to capture the spirit of a stalker. Like the emails of Mouchette.org, this art project focuses on forming a fluid interpersonal narrative between the fiction and the real observer. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- In The Kissing Booth, Kimberly Simpson’s life is reconstructed into narratives about kissing. By presenting history in this way, Simpson shows the impossibility of any narrative structure to accurately represent a life lived. As Campbell explained, we bring the meaning to life. By imbuing kisses with meaning, the artist invites the viewer to re-examine their own life, and to fill in the disruptions in Simpson’s narrative with imagination. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Lastly, Accidental Mpegs by Joe McKay compiles found slices of life recorded with digital cameras. A design flaw causes people to switch on the video function when they mean to take a picture and, in doing so, a context-less, structure-less story is revealed. This is the narrative deconstructed to its barest form: characters interacting. From that raw moment, the viewer has the freedom to find meaning where they will. As with My Lover in Unequal Parts, McKay gives the viewer agency to craft his own fiction out of reality.

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