In Memory of a Name podcast series

by campbelltownartscentre

FX Harsono (right) with Toby Chapman and Macushla Robinson

As one of their outcomes, the In Memory of a Name curatorium presented a series of conversations, presentations and interviews – the In Memory of a Name Mini-Symposium. Held at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art on Saturday 18 February, the event saw a number of participants from the curatorium present aspects of the research that they have undertaken as part of the In Memory of a Name curatorium project. The curatorium was initiated by Indonesian artist, FX Harsono, as part of Edge of Elsewhere. All projects that were part of Edge of Elsewhere in 2012 adopted unique and differing perspectives on what or where a community is, and how an artists can hope to truly engage with these communities.

Harsono’s group, comprised of emerging artists, writers, critics and curators from across Australia, both undertook research into various communities about the effects of changing ones name, but also became a constructed community in themselves. As individuals who had little or no previously knowledge of one another, their year-long process of research and reporting acted as a structure from which legitimate and lasting relationships, dialogues and exchanges could take place. A number of participants from the curatorium decided in late 2011 that a broadcasted mini-symposium would be the best method for presenting a range of varying and often disparate conversations. Whilst these conversations could not be broadcast on the day, they were transmitted through 4A, and recorded.

The In Memory of a Name Curatorium, as part of Edge of Elsewhere are pleased to present a series of podcasts from their symposium. Continue reading for a complete list of podcast recordings from the event.

Session 1.

The first presentation was chaired by Macushla Robinson, a participant in the curatorium, who interview two fellow participants Elly Kent and Helen Fong. Specifically, Robinson speaks with Elly and Helen about their experiences of participating in another outcome from the curatorium, Celebrate-Obliterate-Recreate. C-O-R was initiated by fellow curatorium member, Mai Long. It was a participatory project, whereby curatorium members were asked to select, and photograph, an object that was of personal meaning to themselves and their families. These photographs were accompanied by a short text, explaining the significance of the object (Celebrate). These photograph/text combinations were then collated, and the text erased, leaving only the image (Obliterate). The images were then redistributed amongst the curatorium, so that each member received a photograph of an object that was not their own. It was then that the participants were asked to ‘over-write’ their new adopted object with another, fictional story (Recreate). This mis-registration between image and text were collated once again, and presented in museum vitrines in the Edge of Elsewhere exhibition at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Session 1: Macushla Robinson interviews Elly Kent and Helen Fong

Session 2.

The second presentation was chaired by Andreas Jaka Pratama. Throughout the year, Andreas has been working to develop a system to translate an individuals name from English into Indonesian, or vice versa. As Andreas explains, there is no way to directly translate an English name into Indonesian. Instead, Andreas’ system, The Name Filtration System is a highly subjective process, whereby a persons tastes, preferences and opinions all feed into a small group of names that Andreas compiles, from which the participants can choose.

Two participants, Kim Tan and Dan Moon registered to participate in this process, and discussed their English names, their individual processes of translation, and the Indonesian name that they received as a result.

Session 2: The Name Filtration System

Session 3.

The third presentation was chaired by Helen Fong, another curatorium participant and local historian. Helen’s research focussed on the effect of changing one’s name for cultural or personal reasons. Her journey led her to a man named Yasaiah Ross, a Pranic Healer originally from New York who has since migrated to live in Australia. Helen interviewed Yasaiah about his personal experience of changing names, and importantly, about the Pranic practice of ‘reading’ a name for it’s frequency. A small group of participants from the audience had their name ‘read’ for it’s frequency to determine whether it was the best name for them.

Session 3: Helen Fong interviews Pranic healer, Yasaiah Ross

Session 4.

The fourth presentation saw curatorium member Angela Stretch interview George Stavros. George is a local bard and avid horse racing fan. Angela spoke to George about his experience with naming horses, and the prophetic dream that he had, telling him to name a horse ‘Five Dollars’.

Session 4: Angela Stretch speaks with George Stavros

Session 5.

The final session for the mini-symposium was a roundtable discussion involving FX Harsono, as well as curatorium members Elly Kent and Macushla Robinson. The discussion was convened by Toby Chapman, Assistant Curator, Edge of Elsewhere. The roundtable considered Harsono’s decision to form a curatorium, and how the  curatorium could be considered a community in itself. Elly and Macushla also commented on the notion of an engaged art practice in this context.

Session 5: Harsono Roundtable Discussion

Session 6.

A small group of curatorium members were unable to attend the mini-symposium on the day. However they were able to contribute to the series of podcasts after the event. Adam

Here, Adam Porter interviews his mother, Emma Porter, who was originally known as Alimah Binti Alias.

Session 6: Adam Porter Interviews his mother, Emma Porter