Context and point of departure

This blog accompanies and provides a forum for exchange to the forthcoming installation, Impotent images, which coincides with the Summer session 2020 of the Nordic Summer University and its Study circle Narrative and violence. The installation is also the materialisation of a long-standing idea of questioning and reinterpreting photographs using sound (hence audiographic, explained later), which stems from a professional and moral frustration of the powerlessness of still images.

The theme of the Study circle Narrative and Violence during this summer session is ‘Written on the Body: Narrative (Re)constructions of Violence(s)‘. In my installation, with the subtitle ‘Narratives of violence, but void of bodies‘ I approach this from three angles: first, the different forms violence that the theme suggests are approached by means of the works of the installation. I base this approach on Johan Galtung’s seminal work on physical, cultural and structural violence, such as natural or human-created crises, land appropriation and poverty, respectively. Second, the narrative grows from a professional itinerary where these forms of violence materialise in various contexts, such as lived by individuals and communities. The narrative also loosely ties in with my personal life, and the installation provides a sounding board for reassessing subjective experiences. Third and final, the concept of bodies – defined purposefully broadly by the Study circle – is two-fold: it is both a play with words where the popular implication of representational violence is (a heap of) ‘bodies’ but here there are none; and more specifically, bodies are represented both as object and subjects of violence but not manifestly, but metonymically.