apart & a part: a new kind of archive

Kelly Hussey-Smith, Susan Lovell, Susan Best, University, My
apart & a part: a new kind of archive For many individuals who spent time in institutional and out-of-home care as children during the twentieth century in Australia, the experience was marked by longing, loss, and displacement. apart & a part is a visual artwork that was created in collaboration with six Australian care leavers as the outcome of my doctoral research. The project has focused on the legacy of the institutional or out-of-home care experience on the individual and the subsequent
more » ... nd the subsequent need to produce narratives of the self. It has traced the affective dimensions of trauma and memory through a lengthy period of collaborative dialogue with care leavers. Drawing on the notion of trauma as a quotidian experience, apart & a part explores how care leavers navigate everyday encounters with their past. The artworks featured in the installation create an expanded archive of visual responses and narrative fragments that address the felt experiences often absent from historical or institutional records. The immersive installation blends photography, video, sound, and archival images to communicate the ongoing impacts of institutional thinking on individuals. Drawn from our collaborative dialogues and actions, the works in apart & a part traverse expanded documentary, social practice, and contemporary political art. The project explores the non-linear and sensorial structure of trauma, and advances its potential to represent the affective dimensions of lived experience. The project frames lived experiences as a continuum rather than an event, thereby acknowledging the impact of abuse and trauma but not allowing them to become life-defining. Accompanying the artwork, this exegesis, apart & a part: a new kind of archive, interrogates the conceptual underpinnings of the creative research. It provides a necessary socio-political and historical context through which to understand the mass removal of children (First Nations and non-First Nations) in Australia during the twentieth century. This leads to [...]
doi:10.25904/1912/478 fatcat:a4lqydfpxvbxjjs4opwylxwcwa