VIS #9 was published 14 March 2023. The Issue features seven expositions within the theme “Of Memory and Public Space”. Editors are Serge von Arx and Eliot Moleba. The release took place during the Artistic Research Spring Forum 2023 at the Norwegian Film School in Oslo.
This issue of VIS looks at the public space as the archive of human collectivity. Manifestations, traces and scars in all different shapes and forms of expression form the ever growing, ever changing morphology of power and resistance in our physical surrounding. Acts in the public space, as implementations, interventions or manifestations shift, freeze or oscillate between democratic and autocratic political structures, in relation to scientific, technical and financial developments and stalemates. We often witness that it is the cultural and artistic threads that are weaving together and separating these constituents of the public space. For the vast majority of us, it unavoidably is the primary stage where our lives unfold, day by day, where we have little or no influence on its materialized appearance. Activating, performing, and intervening those spaces continuously build, reshape and dismantle the differently layered identities in public space. However, these ephemeral actions are in a constant interplay with the physical structure, imprinting traces, stalling and catalysing modifications.
VIS issue 9 presents such activations of empowerment and resistance on personal as much as communal levels in light of memories they refer to, re-enact or trigger. It is the second co-edited Issue, by the previous editors, Serge von Arx and Eliot Moleba. The theme arose out of a mutual interest in synergies between our artistic practices.
We wanted the issue to give room to work that creates artistic interventions or intrusions in public spaces which trigger movement, a response, or an action as a form of communal remembering. It wasn’t enough for us to just be working in/with public space, but we were specifically interested in creative processes and outcomes that sought to evoke a distinct movement or reaction from people, consciously or unconsciously, and thereby initiate a debate which emerges abstractly in the shape of an action, rather than verbally.
Through these 7 expositions, VIS Issue 9 manifests and forms a critical dialogue, from multiple entry points both artistically and thematically, of researchers and artists whose work is engaging and questioning the role of public art in embodying public memory. These contributions are grappling with varied moments and contexts from individual and collective memories and histories – new or old, hidden or open – examining, identifying, revealing, and embracing how they continue to shape our experiences, understanding and engagements with(in) public spaces.
Serge von Arx and Eliot Moleba, Editors of VIS #9.
More about the release during the Artistic Research Spring Forum 2023: Release VIS #9
Image: Frame grab from the exposition “Scented Rooms” by Shauheen Daneshfar