Memory theatre. Notes on remembrance and oblivion. From chaos through abstraction towards nothingness

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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P1 OPINNÄYTTEET D 2018 Schuller
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The paper Memory Theatre. Notes on Remembrance and Oblivion. From Chaos through Abstraction towards Nothingness examines the situation of projected traumatic memory through the microhistory of a family heritage, the author’s own family archive. The work is an artistic research and has two main pillars: a theoretical research which is presented in the form of this thesis, and the collection of artworks. Memory Theatre outlines the process of remembering and forgetting while it delineates the transformation of the family heritage. This research consists of three parts: Chaos, Abstraction and Nothingness. The first chapter, Chaos discusses the initial state of burdensome remembrance and how it is mediated in the form of the physical archive. The key theoretical concept of the first chapter is postmemory - a term created by Marianne Hirsch -, that refers to inherited remembrance which is passed on through projection from the first generation of survivors of a cultural trauma. Based on the concept of postmemory and on her own interpretation of inherited remembrance and mourning, the author formulates her own term, postfamily. The second part of the thesis reflects on the abstraction of the family archive and on the transformation of certain memorial entities, objects and spaces. It aims to show how the initial state of obsessive remembering turns into a liberating oblivion. As the archival heritage itself becomes more abstract, the burdensome memory gradually dissolves. The process of bereavement and forgetting leads us towards the closing part of this paper, nothingness, which refers to an active, contemplating state. Similarly to the act of remembering and forgetting, Memory Theatre is fragmented and it is always in transition; an open conversation between time parallels, layers of history and generations.
Weselius, Hanna
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Pfisztner, Gábor
remembrance, oblivion, family heritage, archival systems, postmemory, trauma
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