story of a girl
1999

Performance installation
Childhood and teenage belongings, desk, chair, audience diaries, artist
Performance duration 120 min daily during exhibition Artspace exhibition

Chromogenic colour print, printed 2016
51 x 65.5 cm
Edition 10
Collections: Tweed Regional Gallery

story of a girl is a work that attempts to make present what has been experienced abstractly, exploring issues of self-documentation and personal history. I have assembled on the gallery floor an extensive collection of personal objects which I have stored over the years, objects that chronicle my childhood. These recontextualised objects are vessels that excavate and document stories of my past, making them available for interpretation and closure.

Whereas history unfolds in time, an object unfolds in space. It is with this space that I attempt to locate the tensions resulting from the repositioned objects, seemingly silent in its materiality yet reverberating with subjectivity. These familiar objects delineate the authenticity of a lived story, documenting the refinement of internal and external narratives and incidents.

My performance comprises of a ritualised act of reciprocity in which I offer the viewer an object. I tell the story of the object and attempt to give it away. A raw exchange took place. Some viewers rejected my object, took the object and returned it another day, or leave their phone number or email address in case I ever wanted it back. Some viewers accepted the object and returned to the space with a new object redefining the installation. The audience diaries list the objects with words and photographs. The viewer is invited to write a response to receiving the object in the “audience diaries”. story of a girl magnifies themes of absence and presence, of emotion, ritual and identity.

Story of a Girl
a girl’s object

Story of a Girl is an installation/performance that attempts to make present what has been experienced abstractly, exploring issues of self-documentation and personal history. I have assembled on the gallery floor an extensive collection of personal objects which I have stored over the years, objects that chronicle my childhood. These recontextualised objects are vessels that excavateand document stories of my past, making them available for interpretation and closure.

Whereas a ‘history’ unfolds in time, an object unfolds in space. It is with this space that I attempt to locate the tensions resulting from the repositioned objects, seemingly silent in its materiality yet reverberating with subjectivity. These familiar objects delineate the authenticity of a lived story, documenting the refinement of internal and external narratives and incidents.

My performance comprises of a ritualised act of reciprocity in which I offer the viewer an object. I invite the viewer to return to the space with a new object, reconstructing the way the installation exposes my history. With this exchange, I am attempting to further question and explore issues of self-identification and documentation, where absenced and new objects impact on the previously assembled piece, redefining the installation. This magnifies themes of absence and presence, of emotion and ritual and identity.

[From Artspace catalogue brochure]