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C2- Online Dossier Annotation

In this round of dossier, I looked at artists who deal with physicality diminishment and the; artists who effectively used repetition as a phenomenon in their practice to produce melancholia effects. Moreover, I paid attention to how many of these artists manipulated text differently in their works.

As my practice developed, I’ve become more conscious of the subject matter that my works revolve around. My interests in loss has always focused on the interrelationship of the subject and the lost object. This focus made my thinkings always centre around the intricate dimension of self and other. This is still an important thread in my practice, strengthened by precedents like Joan Jonas, Sophie Calle, Yang Zhenzhong. But through works from Douglas Gordon, Bill Viola and Ed Atkins, I broadened up the core on interrelationship to the loss/death itself.

My current interests on repetition is informed by Hal Foster, C. Fred Blake and Maurice Blanchot. When speaking of Warhol’s repetitions, Hal Foster wrote ‘they suggest an obsessive fixation on the object in melancholy,… not only reproduce traumatic effects; they also produce them’. When analysizing burning paper money custom through the principle of structuralism and phenomenology, C. Fred Blake pointed out that the gesture of tedious, repetitive folding and touching, transcends the common material that you could purchase into something that ‘comes closest to some level of experiencing the ontology of the world in its intertwining…’ These two views particularly shaped my decision making in terms of video in loops and my understanding of repetition as an active engagement that produces the real rather than a passive replication or reproduction. In The Writing of the Disaster, there was similar view too: ‘“The other is related only to the other: the other repeats, but this repetition is not a repetition of the same” This is especially impressive in Déjà-Vu and Take Care of Yourself. Moreover, repetition is not only simply an active engagement, this is also a powerful drive that deconstruct the present, forces the present to linger with the history. Blanchot repetitively pointed out: ‘Repetition: the ultimate over and over, general collapse, destruction of the present’.

When it comes to the usage of text, as mentioned above I was influenced by Maurice Blanchot’s text and Michael Richardson’s Gestures of Testimony, in which he purposed that writing trauma is ’writing about trauma but also the trauma of writing’ (no doubt this reversibility of such expression is from Blanchot as well, ‘the —— of ——‘, a motionless instability), or even ‘the traumatic effects that writing can generate and leave within the body’. I intend to borrow this idea and apply to the ‘writing loss’. This is not only the writing of loss, but also the loss of writing that could only be read by listening to.

  1. Foster, Hal. The Return of the Real : The Avant-garde at the End of the Century. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1996.

  2. C  Fred Blake, Burning Money : The Material Spirit of the Chinese Lifeworld, Honolulu: University Of Hawaiʻi Press, 2011.

  3. Michael Richardson, Gestures of Testimony : Torture, Trauma, and Affect in Literature. New York Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.

  4. Blanchot, Maurice. Author, and Smock, Ann. The Writing of the Disaster = (L'ecriture Du DeÌsastre). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986.

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