Melanie Sarantou (Taiteilija), Daria Akimenko (Taiteilija)

Tutkimustuotokset: Taiteellinen ja muu ei-tekstimuotoinen muotoNäyttelyTaiteellisen produktion tai yhteisnäyttelyn itsenäinen osavertaisarvioitu


The exhibition Place(less)ness is a collaboration between the curators Dr Melanie Sarantou and PhD candidate Daria Akimenko, and two communities of place and practices in Port Pirie, South Australia, and Cork, Ireland. The Australian collective called Bridge to Nowhere is represented by nine artists. The Irish community is represented by four local shop owners of the historical quarter of North and South Main Street and two local artists.

The inspiration behind the title for the exhibition emerged from Sarantou’s and Akimenko’s research and artistic engagements with different global communities and the insights that were exchanged during those encounters. The many reflections on the transience of place and strong place-bound identities tend to develop when notions of belonging, such as “our place” or “my place”, are interrupted, discontinued or transformed beyond recognition. The places significant to the protagonists of the exhibition are captured through textual and visual narratives. Removed from its original context and displayed to an audience thousands of miles away, this placeness acquires new meanings, while also potentially losing some of its initial intimate symbolisms that can be perceived only through an in situ encounter.

The exhibition partly disseminates some of the audiovisual outputs of Daria Akimenko’s doctoral research titled Narrative Spaces: On identity work and placeness through arts-based narrative practices. The work Shop around the corner tells about the encounter with and the memories of the community of traders in Cork, Ireland, and the street of their past and present. The Irish participants and their significant places are represented through photographs captured by Daria Akimenko in February 2016. Additionally, this community is introduced through a short documentary Shop around the corner where the traders voice their memories about the neighbourhood.

The other half of the exhibition is composed of photographic sets by the community of artists in Port Pirie created during a 2-day workshop facilitated by Melanie Sarantou in October 2018. None of the participants identified as professional photographers. Their memory and place ‘moments’ were storied through a short series of seven images that they captured through their mobile phone cameras during a walk in Port Pirie. This arts-based activity that followed the concept of narrative-photovoice, first introduced by Shan Simmonds, Cornelia Roux and Ina ter Avest in 2015, was complemented by the textual reflections on the place written by the participants after the walk. At the end of the workshop the participants also shared their stories about their memories of and encounters with the place.

Many were able to reflect on childhood memories while some shared their more recent experiences of adult life, work and having families of their own. After the story sharing, a collective group discussion enabled the participants to reflect critically on the tensions they experienced between the positive and negative memories of the place. This series of narrative activities illustrate how the arts-based method of narrative-photovoice can promote critical dialogue and the sharing of knowledge about the issues around placeness. The many stories illustrated a rich narrative of connection, disconnection and reconnection with the place that renders an understanding of the term place(less)ness in this specific South Australian context.

TilaJulkaistu - 12 marrask. 2018
OKM-julkaisutyyppiF2 Julkinen taiteellisen tuotoksen osa
TapahtumaPlace(less)ness - Hämärää Gallery, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Suomi
Kesto: 12 marrask. 201829 marrask. 2018


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