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Koers

On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.86 n.1 Pretoria  2021

http://dx.doi.org/10.19108/koers.86.1.2513 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Spatial and temporal thresholds in installation art: Jan van der Merwe's Eclipse

 

 

Louisemarié Combrink

Department of Art History, North-West University. louisemarieccc@gmail.com; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7394-8906

 

 


ABSTRACT

The notion of thresholds and their potential to suggest liminality is usually associated with spatialities. However, I contend this notion can be extended to layered temporal thresholds and temporal liminalities. I present this argument, using postclassical narratological concepts as theoretical framework, with reference to the South African artist Jan van der Merwe's installation artwork Eclipse (2002). In this work, various spatial thresholds can be distinguished that relate to issues of conflict, mourning, exclusion, surveillance and the suggestion of death. This is achieved by means of a no man's land experienced when entering the artwork, where the viewer-participant finds him or herself compelled to follow a footpath surrounded by barbed wire on which clothes made of rusted metal are suspended. This journey culminates in a wall that presents three screens showing rose petals being dropped, as if into a grave. Various possible places suggest themselves: refugee camps, concentration camps, war zones and a cemetery. I argue that these spatialities are made possible by temporal thresholds that accompany them. Apart from the patina of the rusted material that suggest the passing of time, the moving flower petals in the screens repeat constantly to create not only liminal temporalities in terms of the artwork at large, but also an iterative sense of the ongoing culmination of these temporalities in death and mourning.

Keywords: Postclassical (visual) narratology, Installation art, Temporal thresholds, Spatia thresholds, Liminality, Eclipse


OPSOMMING

Die idee van drempels en hul potensiaal om die liminale te suggereer word tipies met ruimtelikhede geassosieer. Desnieteenstaande voer ek aan dat hierdie gedagte verbreed kan word na gelaagde tydmatige drempels en tydmatige liminaliteite. Ek bied hierdie argument vanuit die kader van postklassieke narratologie as teoretiese raamwerk en met verwysing na die Suid-Afrikaanse kunstenaar Jan van der Merwe se installasiekunswerk Eclipse (2002). In hierdie werk kan h aantal tydmatige drumpels onderskei word wat telkens kwessies van konflik, bewening, uitsluiting, dophou en die suggestie van dood aan die hand doen. Dit word bewerkstelling deur die ervaring van h niemandsland wanneer die kunswerk betree word, omdat die aanskouer-deelnemer noodgedwonge h voetpaadjie moet volg wat deur doringdraad omhul is en waarop klere wat uit geroeste metaal gesuspendeer is. Hierdie reis kulmineer in h muur waarop drie skerms gemonteer het wat roosblare toon, asof in h graf. Daar word gesinspee op verskeie moontlike plekke: vlugtelingkampe, konsentrasiekampe, oorloggebiede en h begraafplaas. Ek voer aan dat hierdie ruimtelikhede moontlik gemaak word deur tydmatige drumpels wat hand aan hand met die ruimtes gesuggereer word. Benewens die patina van die geroeste materiaal wat verband hou met die verloop van tyd, stel die herhalende beweging van die blomblare in die skerms ook liminale tydsfere aan die orde binne die kunswerk as geheel, en dryf ook - op iteratiewe wyse - hierdie tydsfere op die spits om h suggestie van die dood en rou aan die hand te doen.


 

 

In this paper, I explore spatial and temporal thresholds as well as concomitant liminalities, both spatial and temporal, in the South African artist Jan van der Merwe's (b. 1957) installation artwork Eclipse (2002) (please visit https://youtu.be/7UGLjpadRSI and https://youtu.be/OcVMF7unZUU for a video of the work). The work was first shown at the Aardklop National Arts festival in 2002 when Van der Merwe had the honour of being the festival artist - it was housed in the North-West University Gallery. Hereafter, Van der Merwe exhibited the work during a retrospective exhibition at the Pretoria National Art Gallery in 2006. Currently, it is on permanent display at the gallery Map, in the town of Richardson.

 

 

The thresholds I refer to are argued to be both spatial and temporal, and I posit that spatialities that are suggested in the work are made possible by the suggestion of temporal thresholds. The notion of a threshold is usually understood to be spatial in nature - the common use of the term refers to the step between inside and outside, when entering a built space. During the Middle Ages, the threshold was usually covered with straw to catch dirt from the feet of those who entered the building. The etymology of the word refers to this division between inside and outside, but an interesting other angle is added - a threshold was also associated with the verbs "to tread" or to "trample" (Oxford Online Dictionary). A threshold can be understood as a device that separates two spaces and therefore refers to margins and borders (Aguirre 2006: 15) and is also conceptualised as "betwixt and between" two spaces. Initially formulated from an anthropological perspective by Arnold van Gennep ([1909] 1960) as an in-between space that characterises rites of passage, Victor Turner (1969) took this notion further to explore the liminal as a space and, indeed, suggested that the liminal is also a time that is often characterised by transformations in human agency and creativity. A brief look at Van Gennep and Turner's conceptualisations of the threshold and the liminal is, therefore, indicative of time rather than space: Van Gennep's chapters are named, for example, "Pregnancy", "Initiation rites" and so on - these clearly pertain to time passing.

In literary usage, thresholds are, however, most frequently associated with spatialities (Du Plooy 2014); but this author as well as Mieke Bal (2011) argue for expanding our usage of the term and considering thresholds in temporal terms, a notion that is central to my present argument.

In the present article, I peruse the relationship between the threshold and a closely related concept, that of the liminal. Here the notion of borders is important (again, a spatial view of thresholds that I argue should also be understood in temporal terms). In light of this discussion, I proceed to explore a central thrust of my argument by considering time and temporality in theoretical and sometimes philosophical terms with the aim of demonstrating the subjective nature of temporal experience and imagination. During the course of this discussion I refer to the significance of temporalities as thresholds with liminal connotations in the experience of Eclipse. I conclude the article by briefly reflecting on salient interpretative possibilities of spatialities associated with possible temporalities suggested by the work. These reflections are informed by memory and, in the context of Eclipse, often point to trauma narratives and narratives of death. Throughout the different sections of the article, I refer to relevant concepts gleaned from a brief overview of narratological concepts discussed below. Of the four elements of narrative (time, space, character and event) space and time are, of course, central to the article, but character is implied together with reference to events in the sections that follow.

I first peruse what postclassical narratology can mean, after engaging with thresholds, temporalities and the liminal in Eclipse.

 

1. Postclassical (visual) narratology as theoretical ambit

I situate the present article in the sphere of postclassical (visual) narratology, and thus want to briefly expound on this term and clarify my position on the concepts used in the remainder of the article. Arleen Ionescu (2019: 5) indicates that the term postclassical narratology was coined by David Herman in 1999, giving rise to the "postclassical turn", and has since gained momentum in various publications and in various spheres where narratological analyses are undertaken. Postclassical approaches to narratology took as their point of departure classical narratology, which was consolidated for the most part in Gérard Genette's ([1972] 1980) Narrative Discourse and Narrative Discourse Revisited(1988). Classical narratology drew on diverse attempts at formulating theories of narrative texts, including work by Viktor Shklovsky ([1917] 1965), Vladimir Propp ([1928] 2003) and others.

An important publication by Bal (1977) simplified some of Genette's conceptualisations of narratological terms, and she proposed four elements as the building blocks of any narrative (text): character, event, space and time. I mention these because while I interpret the artwork in question, I regard these elements as salient and will refer to them. Bal has also since 1999 published a range of texts in which she applies narratological principles not only to visual artworks such as paintings, but also specifically to the reading of installation artworks - again, a very important tangential approach that echoes some of my applications of narrative theory to installation art (for example, Bal 1999a; 1999b; 2001a; 2001b; 2006; 2010). Perhaps surprisingly, she has not applied her four elements in conjunction as point of departure in any of her publications, although she does of course refer to issues such as space and has referred to agents inside the artwork as characters (1999a; 1999b).

Character as a central element of narrative has been described as a participant in a story world (Margolin 2007; Jannidis 2009; 2013). The notion of story worlds, in turn, was introduced by Thomas G. Pavel (1986). I propound that a visual artwork, or an installation artwork for that matter, can be regarded as a story world in which one may seek for narratives or narrativised elements (narrativisation refers to instances where a clear narrative is not necessarily suggested, but there are elements that possess a measure of narrativity). Narrativity is, therefore, scalar; this means that there are various levels of narrativity where, for example, a static scene may be less overtly narrative in nature and a multi-episodic image such as one often finds in Medieval illustrations of Biblical narratives may be more overtly narrative.

As regards character, I argue that in installation art, by virtue of physically entering the artwork, the viewer becomes a text-internal element, and thus part of the story world of the artwork. A narrative universe is comprised of characters (defined as participants in a story world) and any mental versions of other characters that form in their minds (Margolin 2007: 70-71). Characters are invented or stipulated by a human mind (Margolin 2007: 67) - in other words, in a manner that reflects a reader-response type of sense-making of the narrative world.

Furthermore, I posit that since many installation artworks require some measure of participation from the viewer-participant, he or she indeed becomes a character who co-constructs meaning while engaging with the work (cf. Combrink & Allen 2019), and hence can, as Joseph Alber and Monika Fludernik (2009) propound with regard to narrative texts, bring real-world knowledge with him or herself in the evocation of fictional worlds. In this sense, one can speak of metalepsis, which entails that an extradiegetic narrator or narratee intrudes upon the diegetic universe of the narrative (compare Genette [1972] 1980). Instead of intrusion, in this article, I would rather argue for seamless becoming part of the story world of the narrative in an immersive sense (Bishop 2005) and, importantly, for becoming a co-constructor of the narrative possibilities that are suggested in the work. How this happens, in installation art, is by means of corporeal engaging with the work, so that there is an ontological overlap and merging of the "real" self and the work - in this sense, corporeal narratology as described by Daniel Punday (2000) requires not an imagined, but a physical body to participate in the work, in the Merleau-Pontian ([1945] 2002; 1964) sense of embodied perception.

Finally, I align myself in this article with Bal's (2011) notion of enunciative narratology referred to as trauma narratology, in the sense that she has "analysed trauma, its ethics or its aesthetics, also using narratological tools" (lonescu 2019: 15).

 

2. A brief description of Eclipse

Eclipse is the only representation of exterior space that I could find among Van der Merwe's large body of rust-based installations. This work is a "memorial to the innocent men, women and children who are left in the dark by a lack of compassion and hope due to famine, war and epidemics" (Van der Merwe quoted by Hund 2004: 34). In this large installation measuring 10 650 x 3 800 x 2 400 mm, a gravel walkway is lined on both sides with a barbed wire fence, onto which rust-covered garments are suspended; the walkway ends in brick wall with openings into which have been installed three vertically placed television monitors, the top one situated at eye-level and the bottom one almost level with the floor. The monitors show flower petals being dropped, fluttering in stages into what one senses as a freshly dug grave. These stages are achieved by making the top monitor's image seemingly taken over by the one below, and then the last one showing the "same" petals falling into the deep earth. The absence of human beings in this work evokes a sense of death - not only because of the suggestion of a grave, but because the barbed wire and gravel path could generate archetypal associations of dread and conflict.

Together, the path, the sound of gravel underfoot, and the wire fences create an ambient environment and draw attention to the focal point which is made up of the moving images in the monitors. The fences also suggest an inevitable journey (towards death, it seems); they entrap the character-participant who can only move forwards towards the open grave. The experience of walking on the gravel, hearing its sounds, may be exacerbated by the grating sound of other gallery goers' footsteps on the gravel, as if suddenly one walks in procession towards the open grave that tells of death, and thus towards death itself. Spotlights point outwards from the gravel, illuminating the rust-sculpted clothing "draped" onto the fences.

Empty like the grave to which they lead, garments signify human absence - specifically bodies that are absent1. The empty clothing functions in a double sense: to make absence felt, but also as a silent audience keeping vigil along the walkway. Therefore, the various components of the work - the clothing and the fences, the gravel walkway that ends in the grave, and the moving images that narrate a final farewell to departed souls - work together to thematise absence, trauma, and death.

Eclipse therefore conveys a sense of the liminal, of death hovering close by. The living -those who visit the gallery - walk among these departed ones; the atmosphere is eerie and sacred, melancholy.

 

3. Liminality and the threshold

Liminal spaces include spaces associated with transit (such as airports and train stations) as well as temporary spaces that have the sense of being in limbo, such as prison camps (Kruger & Van der Merwe, 2010: 158). The liminal is a place of both uncertainty and possibility; it is associated with unusual experiences, spiritual encounters, transfigurations, visions and "significant transformations" (Withrow, 2019: 77). These unusual phenomena can appear, according to Lisa Withrow (2019: 78) at both the centre as well as in the margins of power. In all cases, the liminal suggests a path of transition and possibility, so much so that it can expose and disrupt dehumanisation and polarisation (Withrow, 2019: 78).

Law, in an attempt to maintain the status quo, is supposedly fond of boundaries and thus denies the possibility of crossing boundaries or thresholds; indeed, the entire notion of subjugation, legal or otherwise, is predicated on maintaining boundaries (Withrow, 2019: 81 notes that liminal and limit indeed share the same Latin root), the threshold is a liminal space where a sense of instability and the unknown may be felt, but the liminal also has transformational potential (Du Plooy 2014: 2). In light of the fact that space and time are actually deeply interwoven, it makes sense to explore temporalities that accompany, or even make possible, how spatial liminalities can be understood - Gaston Bachelard in his book The Poetics of Space ([1958] 1994) purports that "space is compressed time".

 

4. Time and temporal thresholds

The present, as philosophy knows well, doesn't exist, and yet it is the only thing which exists (Currie 2007: 8)

Mark Currie (2007) posits that narratology can benefit from reflecting philosophically on time - and this can be extended to postclassical narratology, which is where the present study is situated. When considering time in simple terms, past, present and future are salient. However, how the human subject experiences time is subjective, ontological and existential, and not necessarily "a mimetic version of time in reality" (Du Plooy 2014: 6)2. For example, memories of past times may comprise a personalised form of remembering and even a reconfiguration of events that has value for the subject in a personal manner. In a similar vein, Christine Ross (2012: 18) notes that humans anthropomorphise time by projecting our fears, needs, hopes, losses and desires on it - temporal experiences are therefore highly mediated by the individual consciousness; the body is not excluded from temporal awareness.

Nonetheless,

Although in point of fact we are necessarily located in the present, in our imagination and though we are free to adopt any temporal standpoint, past, present or future, that we please, and view events thence. It is a deep metaphysical fact that though in our bodies we are time-bound, in our thoughts we are not (Lucas, 1989: 11).

This point is significant: imagination is salient when engaging with Eclipse as a work imbued with narrativity, which means that the work has a narrative thrust without having to be interpreted as emblematic of a single fabula. In order to engage with the narrativised elements of the work and to read them as potential building blocks of narratives, the participant-character needs what Werner Wolf (2017: 77) calls the "recipient's narrativizing ability and willingness" to explore the work as such. In another publication, Wolf (2004 :84) contends that the central tenet of narrativity is experientiality; this is all the more so because in Eclipse the experience of the work and its narrative potential is not only mental, but also embodied.

Thus, how bodies and moving images move forward through time are described by Ross (2012: 18) as follows: "... temporal passing is contemporalized; ... history is temporalized and historicity presentified". The author, indeed, speaks of the temporal turn in contemporary art, echoing Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel's (2010) contention that time is one of the salient aspects that are explored in contemporary art. Cognitive theory, also, holds that bodily experience is salient to our making sense of time (Bridgeman 2007: 55).

Change as a reality of today's world with the concomitant transformations of everyday life and its realities has made us more aware of temporality, together with the sense that time is contingent on our existence and experience of life. Time can be physical, psychological, "real" or phenomenal; it is an a priori condition of experience (Ross 2012: 20-22). Gilles Deleuze in Cinema 2: The Time-Image (1989) notes, furthermore, the irrelevance of making distinctions between subjective and objective, imaginary or real, actual or virtual, as well as the presence and the past. Indeed, Paul Ricoeur (1985) indicates that cosmological time is "objective time", clock time, linear - a succession of "nows" (Currie 20017: 32; - Heidegger [1962] also refers to a series of "nows"), while phenomenological time can also be felt as a series of perpetual presents (Currie, 2007: 33). Hence, there are aporias between clock time and mind time, according to Ricoeur (1988).

When temporalities conflate, as I argue is the case in Eclipse, time becomes liminal: present, past and even anticipation of the future may assume a multi-layered aspect and these temporalities do not exist separately from each other, but become a flow of possibilities in the imagination of the participant-character. Time can fold back into itself, it can thicken, or frozen, and it can be infinitely stretched out. All these temporal dimensions occur in Eclipse, as will become clear from the arguments presented below. It is, in this regard, interesting to take cognizance of Withrow (2019: 86-87) who notes that liminality can be experienced by single individuals, larger social groups and entire populations or civilisations, and that the temporal dimension of the liminal may be felt in various durations, from moments to epochs; from the fleeting to the generational.

 

5. Reading Eclipse as heterochrony

I first want to consider the title of the work which gives a first indication of time as liminal, taking my cue from Genette (1990) that a title functions as a paratext, and indeed as a threshold of interpretation. Eclipses can be either solar or lunar, and especially a total solar eclipse is described as awe-inspiring (McNaughton 1996:81). Many religions ascribe to eclipses supernatural powers as well as pandemics - in Christianity, both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ are associated with eclipses (a full solar eclipse is believed to have caused the darkness associated with the death of Christ as related in Luke 23 verses 44-45) and these also feature in artworks about these themes (Olson & Pasachoff 2007). Dramatic events such as St. Peter's escape from prison as well as ascension narratives but also disasters are associated with the eclipses; hailstorms, unusual births and the bubonic plague all bear associations with eclipses (Lee 2020; Olson & Pasachoff 2007). So strange to the eye was an eclipse that it was documented how a member of an American astronomic party, upon witnessing a total solar eclipse, fired his gun and killed the offensive object that caused the sun to disappear. The year was 1878, and since a full eclipse only lasts a few minutes, it was believed to have worked (Sheehan 2016).

Apart, then, from being a natural event studied by those holding a Copernican heliocentric view of the universe that emerged during the Enlightenment, eclipses are even today characterised by superstition: about travel, pregnancy and investments on the stock market (a quick search on the internet reveals an astonishing range of present-day superstitions about eclipses).

 

6. Discontinuous time

Runette Kruger and Jan van der Merwe (2010: 158) mention the use of time in Van der Merwe's installations as suggestive of transience as well as preservation: the patina of rust that is in a constant state of decay reminds us of time passing, while the fact that the items in the work are made of food cans brings home the notion of preservation (this is indeed applicable to Eclipse). Thus, transience and permanence are held together by a delicate tension (Kruger & Van der Merwe 2010: 159).

Since various temporal suggestions present themselves in Eclipse, one can speak of what Currie (2007: 9) calls a "chaotic co-presence of meanings" since there is a "collapse of temporal distance into simultaneity" (Currie 2007: 10).

There are a number of salient empirical temporalities in Eclipse that are of significance. In the first instance, there is always the time of making, when the artist produced the work. This is followed by the time of showing, in this instance 2002, 2006 and later more permanently at the gallery Map. When dealing with any work, there is also the time of viewing, which will have a bearing on the reception of the artwork. Of course, as I noted above, this viewing has a bodily aspect so that the work is, phenomenologically speaking, experienced not by a disembodied cogito, but by a flesh and blood person; it is embodied time.

In terms of Genette's (1980) formulation of order, duration and frequency as the structural determinants of time, the following is pertinent: the participant-character can choose how long to spend inside the artwork, traversing the gravel path towards the wall with the three monitors that show looping images of petals falling. Duration here is concerned with minutes spent inside the work and seconds between repetitive images of petals - the falling petals on the monitors bring another temporal dimension to the work: firstly, there is the use of technology which points to the present. More significantly, there is constant repetition, and as Deleuze (1989) reminds us, exact repetition violates natural law and compels one to reflect on the always again happening quality of repetition. Also, every repetition is felt differently; as one waits for the next series of petals falling down, the very anticipation and the exact repetition become iterative, almost hypnotic. Currie (2007) purports that "Video recording ... structures the present as the object of a future memory... an anticipated future from which the present will be re-experienced as representation of the past" - thus "a foreshortening of the present".

These empirical temporalities exist in conjunction with the various other temporal threshold I explore with reference to memory and heterochrony.

 

7. Memory as a function of time

Currie (2007: 36) notes that memory "holds within it the time of its happening and the time that it recalls". Maurice Halbwachs ([1941] 1992) notes the importance of collective memories, and while many of our memories indeed have a collective quality, how we individually remember, and how these memories are framed is rather individual. I argue this based on Jonathan Culler's (in Bal & Bryson [1989] 2009) formulation of context (which can be extrapolated to memory, since both context and memory are narratives) as a text, which is always framed, and based on a selection of "facts" or other information. Selection as a function of context and remembering is therefore both collective and individual.

Gilles Deleuze in Rhythm and Repetition (1994:81) adds that remembering is not real - rather, by remembering, we transform the former present (also see Currie 2007: 64), especially when confronted with the unspeakable. This is an endeavour, perhaps, of hope. In traumatic situations that occurred in the past, memory of such events may lack causality and logic; trauma narratives such as wars and displacement, for example, tend to be remembered differently and are guided by personal experiences (compare Du Plooy, 2014:15). Therefore, the fabula that is (re)constructed will differ from person to person, as different fragments of remembering shape how events are recalled. Chronological events may be recalled subjectively or ambivalently. History, therefore, as an attempt to structure events of the past, becomes riddled with discordant remembrance and aporias.

Indeed, Heilna du Plooy (2014:21-22) purports that

For human beings the present is the future of the past and the future is a potential continuation of the present so that a radical breach in the linearity of experience and the intense awareness of death as the ultimate breach of linear progression profoundly disrupts the subject's sense of continuity, resulting in liminal and threshold experiences".

Past, present and future may actually coexist, according to Deleuze (1989:37), who propounds that "there is no present which is not haunted by a past and a future, by a past which is not reducible to a former present, by a future which does not consist of a present to come. Simple succession affects the presents which pass, but each present coexists with a past and a future without which it would not itself pass on".

 

8. Conclusion

Eclipse, because of the barbed wire fence, the funerary suggestions and the anonymous garments that recall human wearers, all of which create a sense of excluded others and of desolation and death, can remind of different actual memories, each with temporal and spatial suggestions.

 

 

The first one that comes to mind may be those images of the Holocaust with which we are familiar: anonymous individuals destined for extermination, standing behind barbed wire, stripped of humanity and dignity. This temporal threshold takes us to 1944 and the years preceding this culmination of the extermination of Jews, to the liminal space of concentration camps, and we are transported to Auschwitz, Treblinka, Dachau ... In this sense, multi-layered temporalities, especially spectres of the past, are reminded of viscerally in the work.

 

 

The faces in photographs we can access easily on the internet and other media belong to actual people, but because of their plight within the context of extermination, and the sheer number of those destined to die, their identities threaten to become anonymous, and all that would be left of them would be those all too familiar images of heaps of clothing, shoes and the like - the clothing suspended on the barbed wire in Eclipse recalls the fate of these innocents.

If one is a South African, one may be reminded of the horrors of the South African War, which has been described as a genocide (if more than a quarter of a people are extinguished, it constitutes genocide). There is a temporal threshold to the years 1899-1902, and too many spatial corollaries to mention here. Importantly, the plight of many Africans confined to concentration camps has until recently been overlooked, and we know that the conditions in these camps were even worse than the camps in which the Boer women and children were kept. But the Boers were also systematically killed, dying of malnutrition and cholera, among others - women and children were starved to death. Concentration camps are about forcible removal, dispossession and displacement and remind us of the cruelty imposed by humans upon each other.

More recently, large-scale movements of people to refugee camps across the globe come to mind, where too many had to leave behind all that was familiar and sacred to be confined, mostly not welcomed, in refugee camps in strange countries where the borders of the camp kept them inside, because outside the camp there is usual hostility. We see these images on the news, but the overload of images such suffering threatens to desensitise us to these human disasters. War, the central cause of these movements of people, is a constant, and both war and refugee camps signify liminal times and places.

Anonymous others can be re-membered by us, intersubjectively experiencing narrative empathy that requires us to imagine them as real people, not just images, and requiring from ourselves moral contemplation of the realities of the anonymous others. Absence is a powerful signifier, but the absent other can be re-membered by the participant-character in an attempt to counter forgetting.

On a personal note, Eclipse may remind us of narratives of death closer to home: me standing, eleven years old, next to the grave of my father, dropping rose petals onto the coffin far below. Memories threaten to become aporias as time passes and images of loved ones fade in our minds; often only things like clothes intimately remind us that they once had bodies and lived among us.

 

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Published: 28 July 2021

 

 

1 Clothing in an artwork can be seen as an extension of the living body, and therefore generates awareness of absence if abandoned; see Smith-Windsor (2013: unpaginated).
2 In narrative texts, Genette (1980) distinguishes between three aspects of time, namely order, frequency and duration. These dimensions may also be applied to a reading of the visual arts, especially installation art, where the first temporality one deals with is "real" time - the time needed to navigate through the work. Further explorations of these notions in Eclipse are dealt with in the sections below.

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