Thursday, 24 November 2011

Museum of Loss and Renewal - Object becomes Subject Updates

The Museum of Loss and Renewal: object Becomes SUBJECT

Exhibition: 14 November – 27 November, Monday - Sunday, 12 - 4.30pm

Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen

In collaboration with The Highland Hospice

Public Studio: Monday - Friday, 12 - 4.30pm

Public Seminar: 22 November, 2pm (booking essential:
With Dr Paul O’Neill (curator, artist and writer) and Prof Arnd Schneider (social anthropologist) exploring notions of duration and context specificity in The Museum of Loss and Renewal project.

Public Seminar: 25 November, 10.30am (booking essential:
With Dr David Reilly (doctor, educator and researcher) focusing on the relationship between art practice, creative change and human healing.

The Museum of Loss and Renewal focuses on the interrelationships between death, memory, material culture and recycling. Through a period of engagement with The Highland Hospice charity shops Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen are investigating issues recurrent in their work; the value and significance of objects, life and death, and artist-led curatorial practice. By re-using and re-presenting material as still-life they invite reflection on the value we place on the ‘things’ with which we surround ourselves.

The project will feature another in Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen’s ongoing series of public studios, enabling the making of artwork in a live situation with direct engagement by a range of publics, arising out of conversation and participation in public discursive events.

Forces of Attraction and Repulsion, The Museum of Loss and Renewal, 2011,
Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen

More info and connections:

Visit the artists' own website...

Review of Loss become Object at HICA...

More about this project...

Tracy and Edwin on Facebook...

Tracy and Edwin on Twitter...

Daily updates from the Public Studio:

Tracy will be updating on the progress of conversations and research happening in their Public Studio (12 - 4.30pm Monday - Friday, Centrespace, VRC). Everyone is welcome to drop in and strike up a conversation and there is an excellent selection of reference books on display as well as the exhibition.


The temporary public studio for the fusion of exhibition, production, education and research is up and running. Conversation raging on the interrelationships between death, memory, material culture and recycling. Sessions with students well under way, prodding and provoking issues including the value of stuff and curatorial positions. Blue-skies thrash with GSA's Dr Ken Neil on the impact on art education, by situating it at the heart of our practice. All welcome to hold discussions on related talks in The Museum of Loss and Renewal at Centrespace.


Day of student sessions, considering 'ephemeral practices' and 'art, science & visual thinking'. Discussed the merging of art, research and education – the need for a radical shift in the function of learning towards a central position for art within collaborative approaches, the fostering of networks, partnerships and play – opening up and daring to fail.


Day of conversation about art's ability to enable us to access grief; by showing publicly how creativity comes out of the chaos of life. Grappling with the materiality of language by making the blanket through translation of conversations into written words.


Different pace to conversations today; people more relaxed as stories slowly unfolded, ideas exchanged, notes made and words cut for blanket. Creative Scotland talking about possible meanings of 'place' for Scotland, referring to DJCAD-PAR+RS 2010 'Mapping the Future: Public Art in Scotland'; picked up and repositioned when the University's Architecture students dropped in, looking to stimulate the rub of disciplines through closer connection with art at DJCAD.


Talking to a wide range of visitors every day emphasises the place of 'dialogical aesthetics', and the central position that listening to others occupies. A reminder by Murdo too, about the artist's role as someone who can highlight a community's issues; as Collingwood wrote in Principles of Art in 1938, 'uttering their secrets'.


Seminar 1 oversubscribed! Fantastic amount of interest before, during and since the event, in Arnd Schneider's propositions on how to 'engage art and anthropology', and Paul O'Neill's question of 'how to produce the unplanned?' within the context of durational approaches to public art. Siting the seminar within the space of 'The Museum of Loss and Renewal: Object becomes Subject' brought together people with wide range of expertise whose comments, questions and conversation feed the project's future – a huge thank you to all for your contributions.


Yesterday's seminar already impacting on the way we're thinking about 'The Museum of Loss and Renewal' – expanding thoughts about the Highlands as the site of 'The Museum of Loss and Renewal', and the Highland Hospice shops as The Museum's rooms - we work with objects from the shops' collections to curate an ongoing set of displays that focus on a range of subjects. And re-thinking artistic processes of investigation in relation to anthropology's critique of fieldwork – possible points of convergence?. This relates strongly to Paul O'Neill's proposition that there is a case to be made for the consideration of 'public time' rather than space – favouring an evolving process and being prepared to embrace the unexpected.

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