Hana Aoake – 24 May, 2015
Activated by the body either through physical contact with the audience or through physical labour, 'Something felt, something shared' highlights the intersection of different sensory experiences, memories and empathy. Each work emphasises the emotional relationships our bodies form with space and other people. These are explored both through physical processes and in a digital capacity, using memories from within the contemplated living spaces.
Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare Hartley McLean, Kayla Ward
Something felt, something shared
Curated by Emma Ng
7 May - 30 May, 2015
Activated by the body either through physical contact with the audience or through physical labour, Something felt, something shared highlights the intersection of different sensory experiences, memories and empathy. Each work emphasises the emotional relationships our bodies form with space and other people. These are explored both through physical processes and in a digital capacity, using memories from within the contemplated living spaces. Something felt, something shared seeks to make these experiences tangible, whether they be encounters with ghosts, or searching through a series of obscure online forums. There is something deeply intimate about these artworks, a sense gathered from the way one could relate to these personal narratives, particularly in terms of one’s own body and experiences.
Gabrielle Amodeo’s contribution consists of a number of large facsimile floorplans, created when she mapped out the floor of every room of a house she and her partner used to live in. One of these, a map of the entrance, is placed on the floor. It plays off nicely within the space, as it is the first work one encounters in the show. Although it took me some time to register exactly what this work was, as soon as it became apparent it made me think of my own home and other spaces where I have lived. To the side was a series of bound folders containing outlines of the entire house. The process of documenting this space made me think of her body creating these rubbings, the emptying of the rooms and fragments of memory one experiences in different spaces, especially in locations we inhabit daily for long periods of time.
Kayla Ward’s work is a sound recording played through a radio, based upon a strange encounter from her childhood. During her childhood Ward encountered what she thought was a ghost. After some research she discovered information about a man who had lived in her room in the 19th century. His name was Pvt. William Harper and he died whilst biking from Scott Street to Hamner Street in Christchurch. The work consists of Ward recreating this journey, by pedalling along the same route and making a sound recording of this process. While learning about the creation of this work I recalled a ghostly encounter I myself had as a child and my own questioning of this experience. How do we make eerily uncertain memories tangible and not exist only as fledging sentience?(1)
Clare Hartley McLean’s Vibrational Counsel (The adventure of you) is a work physically activated by the body. One must download a QR code reader on a smart phone in order to listen to a series of texts spoken by McLean. These texts are a series of psychic energy readings. The ones I took home could well have applied to anyone, but I felt personally validated by what I had picked up. It had relevance to the current stage of my life and made me think of the dismissive way in which we treat psychics and/or horoscopes or non-human entities. Those things we can’t explain, even though they do make sense, perhaps because they are simply universal truths applicable to anyone.
Is the internet making me depressed? (2) This is one of hundreds of sentiments gleaned from various social media and online forums by Ruby Joy Eade. These are presented as a series of publications designed to be touched, picked up and read. Eade’s work is embedded with empathy, whilst harbouring an affinity with our digital life - in terms of having a need to connect. It questions whether we are able to establish an authentic ‘connection’ with other people through virtual means. These trains of thought create poetic parallels within all aspects of our lives, from questions surrounding the validity of our personal relationships to whether we deserve happiness. Many of these poetic fragments are also universal. They highlight a recurrent theme throughout Something felt, something shared - the need to make the seemingly intangible into a physicalised object, as a means of creating intimacy.
(1) Emma Ng, wall text for Something felt, something shared (2015).
(2) Ruby Joy Eade, Something borrowed, something shared (2015).