Part of the Oorzaken Festival.
In The Unreliable Archives, Rona Kennedy presents a transdisciplinary audio installation and
performance that investigates the unreliability of (collective) memories. No archive is ever reliable or complete: it’s a subjective collection of fragments, ordered by archivists
with their own backgrounds, within a specific era or framework. For example, documents are collected in a city archive or as remnants of a particular war. And this contributes to defining their meaning. Our own memories are also unreliable, subjective and subject to change over time. By looking through a frame of unreliability, Kennedy calls the idea of ‘objectivity’ into question and investigates which stories are missing or excluded in relation to the traumas ensuing from mining and migration in South Africa and Lapland. What impact have these underground and above-ground stories had on people, communities and nature?
The stories could be about a search for roots, finding a home, or the system of ‘homelands’ in South Africa at that time, which was used as the basis for forced expropriation of land from Black South Africans.
Collecting and sharing such stories as the starting point for meeting and exchange is central to Kennedy’s artistic practice. In the installation The Unreliable Archives, Kennedy invites us to act as co-archivists, taking the time to ‘feel’ this complex material. What changes in perspective would you like to see? In what complex relations are you entangled?
About Rona Kennedy
Rona Kennedy (she/her) is a British-Belgian transdisciplinary artist. With her installation performances, she constructs in-between worlds on fault lines as temporary autonomous sites for meeting and exchange. She uses performance, audio-visual installations, visual techniques and workshops as ways of starting (material) conversations. She is curious about the shifts in perspective that can occur through these meetings and reciprocal dialogues. Live performance as research and as a form of artistic creation are inextricably bound together in her work.