Edge of Elsewhere

Tag: in memory of a name

In Memory of a Name podcast series

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.

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In Memory of a Name symposium – documentation

Thanks to all those that made it to 4A last weekend for the In Memory of A Name symposium. All of the presentations from the symposium have been recorded and will be uploaded early next week.

Elly Kent’s project, Née (born as), continues the conversation on the memorialisation of names all this week at Casula Powerhouse. Elly’s project will be open to the public from 11am – 5pm until Friday 24 February.

In the mean time, here are a few photos taken of the various presentations throughout the day.

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Public Programs – In Memory of A Name symposium

FX Harsono, Writing in the Rain (2010), installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, photograph: Susannah Wimberley

Venue: 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Date: Saturday 18 February 2012
Time: 2-4pm
Bookings essential: simon.soon@4a.com.au

This Saturday, 18 February, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will present the In Memory of A Name symposium. From 2 – 4pm, you are invited to join 4A and a curatorium of emerging artists, writers, historians and curators as they present the result of a year-long investigation into the politics of changing your name.

Since 2011, 4A has been working with Indonesian artist FX Harsono, who in turn has facilitated this curatorium, In Memory of A Name. Taking Harsono’s work Rewriting the Name (2009) as a springboard, the curatorium have considered what it means for themselves, and other in their communities, to change their names.

The symposium will include interview with FX Harsono, pranic healer and name-expert Yasaiah Ross, and curatorium members such as Andreas Jaka Pratama who is looking for volunteers to have their name translated from Indonesia to English, using the Name Filtration System.

We are still accepting bookings for the Name Filtration System here.

4A would also like to invite participants for Elly Kent’s ongoing project Née (born as), a conversation project that invites you to tell the stories of your names; the names of our family, the names that you have left behind and the names that you have embraced.

We invite you to join us by stitching a name onto a piece of fabric while you share your story. The stitched names will become part of a collage, inscribed as a memorial to names past, present and future.

Sign up to be a participant for this project.

Join us at 4A for an afternoon of lively and entertaining discussion led by the In Memory of a Name participants.


Fx Harsono, Writing in the Rain (2011), installation view, photograph: Susannah Wemberley

COR (Celebrate-Obliterate-Recreate: an invisible ritual of shared sacrifice) is a response to the In Memory of Name workshops led by FX Harsono. It is a 3-stage process involving aspects of celebrating, obliterating, and recreating personal narratives and identities. Each participant brought one image of a cherished object to the project.  Echoing the words of Eva Gyarmati, “The value of an object lies not only in how beautiful it is but in the stories that it holds, the emotions that it evokes and the lessons that it teaches us,” they wrote about the object and its personal significance to them.

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Workshop – FX Harsono: In Memory of a Name

Beginning in early 2011, Indonesian artist FX Harsono initiated a curatorim to be made up of a group of emerging cultural producers – artists, writers, curators, academics – as part of the artists contribution to Edge of Elsewhere. Through a series of workshops, online discussions, meetings and individual research the group has conisdered the implications of, and decisions tha lead to changing one’s name.

In late October, 2011 Harsono returned to Sydney to participate in the third In Memory of a Name curatorium workshop. The workshop was a chance for participants to come together to share their individual research and begin discussions about how the outcomes of their progress so far.

The curatorium will present a selection of outcomes from their individual and collective research as part of the 2012 Edge of Elsewhere exhibition program. These outcomes are still in development, but stay tuned for more details closer to January!

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Why Remember?

Peter Allen sings Tenterfield Saddler. (Sound only, static images)

by Helen Fong

The late singer/ songwriter, Peter Allen, changed his surname from Woolnough. In his autobiographical song “Tenterfield Saddler”, Allen told how his grandfather, his father, and by implication his Tenterfield past no longer had a place in his life. Then came the throwaway line leading to a rousing chorus- “except in this song”. In the song’s three short minutes, Allen deftly managed to memorialise his family while also making a clear statement that he had moved on. Some people who have had traumatic childhoods, as Peter Allen did, seek to reinvent themselves and leave the past behind. It can be an act of courage to do so. Why do others choose to remember? Why did FX Harsono choose to recall his Chinese name in “Rewriting the Erased Name” and “Writing in the Rain”?

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Flip was presented as a case study as part of the emerging critics workshop and curatorium, In Memory of a Name, by participant Scott Wark. Initiated by Indonesian artist FX Harsono, the project aims to provide emerging cultural practitioners with a unique professional development opportunity, to gain invaluable insight into a creative methodology for art making and thinking. The project invited a handful of individuals to research the socio-cultural implications of changing one’s name and what we can learn about representation and identity from this process.

In a pause between recollections, my partner’s Eighty-eight year old grandmother, Flip, said that she didn’t know where the memories spurring her stories and musings came from. The waves of her voice breaking over us appeared from an indistinct part of her past, lacking a linear chronology for her or for us. True to this mode of experience, I am going to tell the story of her name(s) as I know it, partially and disjunctively, speculatively and digressively, from her, from my partner and from their family.

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Photo Diary: In Memory of a Name Workshop

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art played host on 10 and 11 June 2011 to a lively coming together of artists, curators, local historian and critics for FX Harsono’s workshop for emerging cultural practitioners – In Memory of a Name. Over the course of two days, participants bonded over series of talks and discussion sessions.

The workshop began with FX Harsono’s presentation of his recent projects that have used social research as a methodology for his recent exploration on the history of the Chinese community in Indonesia.

We then had invited guest speaker Sue Ingham contextualising Harsono’s practice within Indonesian contemporary art, John von Sturmer expanding on the practice and value of naming in Indigenous culture and John Kirkman explaining the discursive possibilities of community-engagement art through a case study ‘Tracksuits for St. Mary’.

Participants divided themselves into two smaller groups on the second day and continued to devise suitable approaches and methodologies for the upcoming research. As they continue to develop individual case studies and prepare them for our blog, we want to first share with our readers some photos from the workshop. Enjoy!

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Watch – TESTIMONY by FX Harsono

There’s only one more week left until we welcome our team of emerging artists, curators and critics to FX Harsono’s In Memory of A Name workshop at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art!

As we busy ourselves in preparation for the event, we thought of sharing a bit of socio-historical background that has formed the basis of FX’s investigation into name-changing. Here’s a two part video made by the artist himself. Beautifully shot and produced, this documentary sheds light on how Chinese Indonesians are coming to terms with their identity as a diaspora community that have been culturally tested under Dutch colonialism and subsequently during the founding of Indonesia and the New Order regime.

In Memory of A Name: The Team

A big welcome and congratulations to all applicants who have been selected to participate in FX Harsono’s In Memory of A Name workshop. We thought there’s no better way to break the ice than to have them do a little bit of self-introduction. Here we present to you… the team!

Make sure you come back often to check on our progress. Stay tuned!

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