After Image

After Image is a site specific performance installation exploring memory, imagination and loss developed for the Colombo Biennale, Sri Lanka 2014 on the theme of ‘Making History’. Visitors to the Biennale were individually invited to witness and respond to the one off performance. Their responses were the only record of the event and were used to create a second gallery based work Witness: Remember: Forget, composed of these multiple interpretations. The disparities contained within this documentation explored the nature of the real and of the remembered. How do we understand and visualize an event that we haven’t witnessed and how much of the past is shaped by what is kept and by what is lost? After the close of the exhibition, the witness statements were made into bags and passed onto street vendors to be used for serving food. It is common practice for all kinds of waste documents including school exercise books and government papers to be made into bags and sold to street vendors. This practice reduces the incidence of mosquitoes (as well as bringing in an income for the bag makers) as discarded plastic bags collect pockets of water that provide breeding sites after rainfall.

“Scotland’s Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman’s created an interactive one-off performance Witness: Remember: Forget, where the duo invited random viewers through a mock-official scenario of first looking at and then recording personal impressions of a set of photographs under tight official guidance/scrutiny. Kafkaesque in its resounding absurdity, the piece’s only official documentation is the viewer/participant’s response through written texts. The texts are later displayed and subsequently given away to street vendors for use. Dismantling the entire process of official history-making, the piece successfully tears apart the magic fabric of glorified, personal memory” Kurchi Dasgupta. Depart Magazine, Bangladesh http://www.departmag.com/index.php/en/detail/290/Unravelling-history-at-the-Colombo-Art-Biennale

After Image was developed as part of a Creative Scotland funded residency under the Creative Futures programme.

Categories: 2014, Exhibition, Participatory, Performance