|I REMEMBER H.E.R.
Dedicated to my mother Honer Esther Robertson - Thomas
|The idea came to me early in 1997. It was about a year after my mother's death. I had missed being near to her during the years in Germany and now I realised there was hardly anyone here who knew her, and certatinly no one who understood her in the context of a culture she had always lived in and felt passionately part of. Part of my loss was that I could not share or relive something of my mother with close friends, who have become a sort of extended family, because they mostly had not met her. I could tell people about her but I knew that it would be understood in a German context. I decided that I would like to introduce them to something of my mother and her life, posthumously, and at the same time I would be bringing something of her here to Germany, closer to me.
Many people live in countries or areas far away from where they were born and away from their parents and family. The distance and the time and experiences not shared become more apparent when someone dies. I wanted to bring these subjects of past and present, here and there into an art work based around my own experiences.
|The first step was to import a sofa to Germany. I had become the owner of the sofa as a result of my mother's death. It represented the warmth, support and being 'home' of my mum.
I invited close friends of many years to a party to officially 'Open the Sofa'.
The official part of the evening was relatively short and most of the time was later spent doing what one does at gatherings of friends and family, eating, drinking, talking and sitting around on the sofa. The sofa event was documented by photgraphs and recorded on video. In the neighbouring room people could sit and watch the sofa event live, in real time, on a monitor.
|The second step was a more pubic affair as I felt the subject matter has a lot to do with a lot of people. I had conceived the exhibition to take place in three rooms of my own flat. It was important to use this space, my home here in Germany.
The first room was a kind of 'memorial room' to my mother. Here were small objects and pieces of furniture that my mother had owned and that had been part of her daily life. There were some written expressions from her, concerning her life, and there were photos of her as well as life sized computer print outs from them. I also showed a short film and video of her on a monitor, which was placed opposite her old armchair
The 'memorial room' was next to the room with 'the sofa'.
Visitors to the exhibition could sit and watch the 'Official Opening of the Sofa' and the ensuing party, on the video. They were watching people on the sofa they were siiting on, but on a different occasion. The video is a frame-filling image of the sofa during the whole evening, in real time.
On the wall behind the sofa was a picture of my mother as a young woman, and around the room was a frieze of the photos taken at the 'Official Opening of the Sofa'.
|In the third room was another sofa on which visitors could sit and watch the same image as next door, but a transmitted image from the live situation on the sofa. This image had been technically manipulated to create the shadow of movements in the picture - so that the past of a current movement could also be seen for a few brief moments.
Three rooms. Temporal zones, mixing areas of the past with the present, like a memory.
|Exhibition - 3 X Klingeln / Knock 3 X's|