This presentation summarises the author’s research as part of the doctoral programme at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. It explores the compulsion to return to once-familiar locations that are no longer physically accessible, in particular those that were witness to distressing events.
In practice this involves the construction of an architectural model, within which a series of 35mm slides are taken. These are installed within viewing boxes, distributed throughout the gallery using a hanging system of wires and weights that suspends these fragments in mid-air. The visitor must repeatedly shift between the space of the gallery and that contained within the boxes, engaging in a continual process of looking away that is underscored by the enigmatic nature of the images within.
The particular viewing conditions of the exhibition cannot be recreated when the images are presented as prints, nor can it be successfully documented by photography. In the attempts to describe the research findings the device of ekphrasis, in this case the verbal description of a visual work of art, shares many characteristics with verbalisation, a significant element in the processing of traumatic experiences. Thus the struggle to articulate events is also reflected in the written component of the research.