Speaking to the dead

O'Neill, Mary (2008) Speaking to the dead. In: American Comparative Literature Association Annual conference, Long Beach, San Diego, April 2008, Long Beach, San Diego.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


In August 2006, Javanese artist, Dadang Christanto presented his performance piece “Searching Displaced Bone” at Canberra House, Australia . On 5th December 2007 performance number 0898 of Barbara Campbell’s 1001 Nights piece will take place on the internet. Both of these works of art speaks of wandering and bereavement, of attempts at repair and the difficulty of being the one left behind. These fleeting works of art embody the behaviours of searching associated with mourning and provide the bereaved with a vehicle through which to tell their narrative of bereavement. These works can also function as a site through which others can narrative their loss through participation both literal and virtual. Both works begin with a tale of tragic and untimely death and are ongoing and unbounded, mirroring the open-endedness of grief. In this paper I will discuss the relationship between contemporary ephemeral art works and bereavement and discuss how these works can speak eloquently in circumstances where we are often mute.

Keywords:ephemeral art, mourning, performance, Dadang Christanto, Barbara Campbell, 1001 Nights, contemporary art
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
ID Code:4061
Deposited On:22 Feb 2011 21:30

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