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Simulacra : constructing narrative in the studio tableau

By Eustacia Riley

Abstract

Bibliography: pages 61-63.The content and form of the work completed for this degree is intended as a narrative. This narrative is constructed to tell stories of my family, and of myself, in a way that openly stresses the playful, mythical, and fictional nature of such narratives in the family and in history. These narratives are not always easily recognisable, believable, or unified, and are read through an arrangement of details. Initially, I intended my tableaux to function as 'emblematic' portraits. In other words, I intended to describe the members of my family by distilling their essential characteristics into a descriptive arrangement of symbolic objects. Although I became aware of the limitations of symbolism, and became more interested in narrative and display, the content of my work has remained personal and descriptive, even though I have emphasised the fictional over the elegiac. My family is not really one of collectors - my grandmother tore up and burnt many of our family photographs when my grandfather died, before she went into an old-age home. She wanted to 'travel light'. What we have left are the stories, the anecdotes and the proverbs: an oral history, or a ·postmemory'. These inherited tales are told through the snapshots that did survive, as they are in all families who take pictures. I have retold and reconstructed my own narratives, because this is the nature of the family romance for everyone - it resides in a world of images, incidental details, and surfaces

Topics: Fine Art
Publisher: Michaelis School of Fine Art
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:open.uct.ac.za:11427/20145
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