The Participatory Monument - Remembrance and Forgetting as Art Practice in Public Sphere
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This artistic research reflection deals with what I call the “participatory monument”, the intention of which is to bring members of the public into the artwork and to openly share related experiences with them, thus providing evidence of the existence and potential transformative power of collective memory. The Participatory Monument—Remembrance and Forgetting as Art Practice in Public Sphere is a practice-based research project and consists of two artworks: Folkets Hus (2015) and Kammer (2017). This reflection investigates collective memory and remembrance through artistic research and practice in the public sphere, that is, in public space and the public imaginary, by means of the artworks Folkets Hus and Kammer. In addition, this research examines how remembrance and memory are transformed into works of art. The Participatory Monument seeks to expand the understanding of memory by exploring it as an embodiment of sensorial practice and as an extended social vocabulary. Memory resides in our everyday rituals and social relationships as well as in memorials and traditions of remembrance. Accordingly, in my art practice I look at the politics of remembering and forgetting by focusing on our personal experiences as witnesses in the public sphere. Undertaking research through the examination of historical material and the conducting of interviews, I translate these lived experiences into an archive of methodology and a vocabulary of remembrance and forgetting. I contend that the more we delve into the field of collective remembering, the more we can glean an understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Therefore, research into how we choose to remember and what we choose to forget can play an integral part in art, though it requires that informed ethical practices be put in place. Moreover, to an artist working in the public sphere, this offers the opportunity to further probe the role of the artist in the social realm.
Reflection Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) in Artistic Research at the Faculty of Arts and Craft, Oslo National Academy of Arts. Supervisor: Mary Jane Jacob. Second supervisor: Olga Schmedling.