University of Tasmania
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Spatial hysteresis : glimpses of our yielding place

posted on 2023-05-26, 23:29 authored by Bleach, L
Hysteresis is the extent to which the strain in a material reflects the stress to which it has been subjected; it also refers to the time lag exhibited by the material in reacting to this stress. In this project the material is our constructed place. Spatial hysteresis makes reference to theories in spatial history, particularly perceptions of place and landscape in postcolonial Australia. The project examines the signs of strain as points of rupture in our urban veneer, which offer poetic potential and an opportunity for an intimate engagement within the prosaic urban realm. It also investigates the way things within their framework fall apart, and it is the ongoing maintenance of the framework that is as interesting as the emergence within the fractures. The project considers our imprint on our place, and the varying degrees to which the pressure of the print is sustained and maintained. The project reveals glimpses of a yielding urban landscape under stress. The research has been pursued through a series of notional clusters, which serve to group the various investigations of the hysteresis in question. These clusters house pertinent artists and writers whose work inform and contextualise the project. The scope of artists is broad as their work may resonate with the project through concept and/or material. Artists such as Robert Smithson, Charles Simonds and Joan Grounds have been important for their ability to poetically and intimately describe a place within the perfunctory urban realm. Sophie Ristelhueber and Leni Hoffman have been influential for their works which deal with wounds, scars and cracks. Writers such as Susan Stewart, Gaston Bachelard, Miwon Kwon and Paul Carter have offered the project a contextual structure through concepts of intimacy and immensity, souvenir, poetic space, locational aesthetics and how landscape is claimed and absorbed. The thematic nature of the groups has acted as anchors and departure points from which the bodies of work that make up the project have been produced. There are four main clusters that provide the conceptual basis for the four groups of work. Briefly these clusters are: ‚Äö an invisible ongoing creepage of place; ‚Äö the construction and reconstruction of place; ‚Äö intervention and emergence; ‚Äö cracks and scars - the erasure and memory of place. This research project incorporates a body of work that combines off-site installations and interventions that respond directly with a place, and studio-based gallery work, which brings the outside in and explores how the discrete may evoke the monumental. Some of the work has grown conceptually and materially from my previous practice, while other work produced within the project has been significant for trying new mediums, applications and ideas. The work speaks of a yielding, groaning urban landscape. It acts as a document of the performance of repair/maintenance implicit in the constructed landscape, revealing an intimacy within the repair. The work examines the blur between fact and fiction in the recounting of a landscape changed, as a conceptual indication of the hysteresis at large. In our urban constructed environment, the sites of impermanence, fray and repair can be seen as sites of vitality, offering opportunities for an intimate engagement within the typically perfunctory urban realm. The work speaks to these sites of intimacy; it accentuates an act of encounter and encourages space for a simultaneous and imaginary life. These sites are like anecdotes; they are not part of the official history or constructed reality of the place, yet their presence induces an emotional engagement with it.


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Copyright 2007 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). CD-ROMs contain accompanying material. Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 2007. Includes bibliographical references

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