Session 8: Abstracts
The exploration of the body/time dynamic through an analysis of memory-based narrative artist books
Central Queensland University, Australia
Abstract: The relative small scale and sequence-based format of artist books are factors in them often being perceived very differently to such creative works as for example sculptures or large paintings. With reference to Sturm's artist books "Hung Out" and "Threepence", this paper examines memory-based artist books as devices for exploring the dynamic between time and identity (bodies). For over a decade, the thread through Sturm's work has been image sequences of small linocuts based on personal memories. Traditionally bound with stitched centre-sewn pages, and using a layout where image and text are on facing pages, "Hung Out" and "Threepence" deliberately mimic the format of many children's picture books as a device intended to encourage the viewer/reader to engage with their own childhood memories and perceptions of identity. Although the narratives in these artist books record recollections of memory fragments, the 'truth' of these memories is not necessarily as significant as our response to them: our perception of the truth from a particular point in time and a particular perspective. Often with an element of ‘confessional humour’, the interplay between image and text explores the role of memory in the continually evolving construction of identity: certain fragments of seemingly trivial memories unexpectedly become catalysts for shifts in one's self-perception. Several other artists working with sequence-based art forms, including graphic novels, comic books, illustrated autobiographical stories or series of prints or paintings, often with a text component, are examined in this visual exploring memory, time and identity.
Writing the Body
Central Queensland University, Australia
Abstract: When writing autobiographically, in my case memoir, embodiment is an essential element, as memory is embedded in the body. Not only is memory embodied but a range of other embodied phenomena central to autobiography such as emotions, identity and agency reside in the body. This means that the memoirist’s life is embodied in the written narrative. In the research I am undertaking – examining how the sequel memoir writer can construct a vivid second memoir – the use of body plays a role in more ways than purely memory. In this paper I will look at memory as a construct of the body and Eakin’s (2005) mapping of the body and identity in memoir. I will examine Rendle-Short’s Bite Your tongue which is both fiction and memoir, disembodied and embodied, and especially her technique of writing the body. The conclusion is drawn that writing the body is essential for the creation of a compelling sequel memoir.
Creative Writing and Anime: A palimpsestuous relationship and reactive creativity in‘Under the Freeway’.
Abstract: I am a creative writer who experiences herself in the semiosis of language. I believe fantastic modelling bears the burden of recognition for subordinated and neglected individuals and groups in society, when the weight of power and circumstance curtails their freedom of choice. I argue for romantic flight and mocking laughter as a means of updraught; escape and survive, if you will, in little migrations. My work is auto-ethnographical fiction, deemed legitimate scholarship, but counter-intuitive towards the hegemonic discourses in academia and publishing. Damn the notion creative writing and anime are antimonous mediums; both pursuits explore the ontology of supplementary worlds. My fascination with anime is an erotic attraction, a relic of my Honours thesis (a fictocritical take on anime director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli). I believe in the inspiration of ‘palimpsestuous’ relationships and experiment with de-differentiation and de-territorialisation on a palimpsest of interdisciplinary research. The tropography of my work is both literal and figural, in the search for new language and creative initiatives. And I am not above transmodality by thieving from another form with an interest in the anti-real. Passion figures here. Philip Brophy suggests anime is a powerful mode of narration and postulates a counter-ideology grounded in Japanese aesthetics rather than photorealism. My paper explores anime metaphysics and seeks to demonstrate its influence on my work of fiction in the fantastic mode, ‘Under the Freeway’. Time (speed, rate and duration), Space (foreground, background, periphery) and Bodies are orchestrated for meaning production beyond the boundaries of linear/chronological narrative and social realism. Organic energies fuse with ethereal energies and psychic forces find figural expression in the rhythm and energy of words.