A human figure lies supine on a table, a sculpture meticulously constructed over 56 hours by a 3D printing pen and an endlessly patient hand.
(min cost $8)
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Surrounding the figure are memories written on paper – some blank, some crossed-out and rewritten, and some faded.
This intriguing picture is part of a new art installation by local sculptor and performer Jon Harris, which looks at the transient nature of memories and how they morph over time.
Harris’s exhibition, The Original Memory, is being launched this week at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, and is described “as both a memory and a memoir”. It’s part installation, part performance and part soundscape.
“The show itself is based on the memories that I and other people have of a person who died in 1991. There are no pictures of that person, so it’s literally all memory. He died at his own hand, so it was a complete surprise,” he said.
Harris has connected with artists he’d previously performed alongside in the United Kingdom, asking them to re-record theatre lines they’d worked on at the time of their friend’s death. The resulting soundscape is a mesmerising ode to the connection between past and present.
“Memory is a very fragmented thing, so as much as you think you remember someone, it tends to be fragments of someone.”
He also said the identity of the 3D sculpture was kept secret, with gallery visitors invited to find out more throughout regular silent performances and a final live piece, The Final Act.
“I don’t say who it is. Who it is is very much related to the final performance as well as the installation. There’s a sense of mystery about the figure is,” Harris said.
“The final act is basically filling in the gaps. It’s an investigation of memory and how memory plays terrible tricks on us all.
“The Final Act is a celebration. It’s also looking at the time and possible reasons why.”
The Original Memory will be held until October 2. Live performances will be held September 29 and 30, and October 1 at 7.30pm.
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