• Fugitive Testimonies: an artist archive

      Fahy, Su (Auckland University of Technology, 2016-06-29)
      How does a whole society or nation remember or forget the age of analogue film photography and its methods of documenting memory and identity? Inspired by procedures such as the sixteenth-century artificial memory systems presented in the writings of Frances Yates, I examine in my research the workings and subversions of memory through appropriation and reworking of fragments from the analogue photographic archive. The material photographic print reminds us of fugitive memories of family, events, wars, propaganda, the role of witness and visual testimony. I construct new artificial memories from the gleanings of the flea market, second hand shops, the attic, the shoebox, and archival researches. The objects I encounter offer a haptic visual prompt for new works that pose questions of memory and artificial memory, and identity within the visual ecology of a fast-eroding analogue tradition. I present case studies that demonstrate the intimate scale and fragility of such photographic scraps, showing my re-working of found objects to create small visual series accompanied by narrative encounters with each of the photographs. In the process, I also indicate the unique contribution of studio culture in this complex tentative multisensory interrogation.