Climbing a new mountain

The assessment process for Unit 1 felt like climbing a mountain. And now I can see that there’s another peak ahead of me …

In my assessment presentation, I talked about The Archive as a staging post: it’s the work that emerged from the new experience of being here processed through what you might call my natural tendencies, i.e.  collecting, ordering, shaping, containing. It’s a way of giving value to things which I see as quite precious. But now I need to pursue the other part of the ‘tomb-space’ idea – that I’m not discarding these things but I am setting them aside.

The thing I know I find challenging is dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity. And it’s not because I actually feel certain and unambiguous about everything! So how do I represent my experiences in a way that is less neat and tidy, less resolved?

An idea that interests me is that of the ‘dialectical image’ developed by Walter Benjamin. I came across it in Jane Rendell’s Art and Architecture (2006) where she talks about it as ‘an image of dialectics [ie the clarification of ideas through contradiction] at a standstill, where the past is recognised in the present as a ruin that was once desired. The image captures the contradiction in an instant…’ She also describes the dialectical image as:

‘a threshold between past, present and future.’

Benjamin thought this could be achieved by collage or montage so I’m thinking about using images of myself now and as a child somehow together. This links to the sense that has emerged strongly in Unit 1 of me re-discovering things about myself and my past experiences that I had ‘forgotten’, and perhaps re-evaluating them and their significance for my life now.