Archaeologies of Memory

Christian Ernsten and Nick Shepherd initiated Archaeologies of Memory in March 2017 when Shepherd began a period as Artist in Residence at the Reinwardt Academy. Taking archaeology as practice, genealogy and trope, we walk through the troubled landscapes of colonial modernity. We are interested in notions of body as archive, landscape as archive, performance as archive. We are interested in what it means to think through the body, affect and senses.

Some of lines of enquiry of this research project include:


1. Exploring the intersection between conventional scholarship and forms of artistic research and practice: How do we draw on the resources of imagination, desire, creativity and the embodied and affective self, in the process of conventional scholarly work? How can artistic production be enriched by paying attention to empirical work, sources, questions of theory and method, and contemporary debates in the disciplines?


2. Using walking as a methodology to engage landscapes and histories: How do we bring the body into play? How do we think through the body? What would it mean to break down conventional binaries between body and mind, reason and emotion, head and heart, subject and object, work and play? Walking with Frantz Fanon and Walter Mignolo, can we break the logic of coloniality/ modernity and Western reason, that hands us capitalism/ racism/ patriarchy/ fascism as accomplished facts?


3. Rethinking time, materiality and memory: Trapped in linear, modern conceptions of time, we have difficulty in thinking about the simultaneity of the past in the present, and the weight of our responsibilities towards future unborn generations.


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