Day 13 | Deborah Jack

The resonance of traumatic historical events in my personal and cultural memory are at the very core of my work. I see the work as the result of my investigation of the tension that exists in spaces that are at once sites of trauma and sites of healing.
I am intrigued by Toni Morrison’s concept of the “re-memory”, a memory triggered by danger. A memory that is not necessarily my own. The images are meant to evoke renewal and the rebirth that occurs after tragedy, and the sacredness and vibrancy of that transformation. The monochromatic photo images are manifestations of blood-memories that are located in my imagined spaces.

This series deals with the construction of spaces out of memory and the ephemeral quality of memory when applied to a tangible object such as the landscape. For the land is a witness to all the atrocities and the triumphs. We all move on through history with our man made efforts which all decay but the land remains.

For this project I wanted to further dichotomize the sea as a conceptual space.Here the sea is the conduit for the trauma and the healing. The salt and the water are elements of both healing and purification.

I’m using the medium of video and it’s cultural connotation as documentation/ document and playing with the notion of fact and fiction and the blurring of those lines. The images were all taken on St. Martin and seek to illustrate a historical moment that is not fixed or documented. It is about the creation of my own historical data.My concerns are that of creating a mythology out of a ruptured historical space. It is a strategic effort to resist disassociation from history and heritage mainly due to the effects of first slavery and later colonialism past and present. The resulting crime of the institution of slavery is the dis-membering of the histories, cultures, traditions, families, and personal memories of a people: a trend that for me is mirrored today by the tourism industry. I am attempting in my own way, as a result of my own re-memories, to re-member.

Sea #2, 2006 – 2:50 mins


Deborah Jack – Jersey City New Jersey

2 thoughts on “Day 13 | Deborah Jack

  1. This video gave me a calming feel, the movement of the water did make me think of memory, but I didn’t understand the relationship with of the piece with cultural history, and slavery which she discusses in the statement.

  2. i found the water to be almost like a dream state. Memories did flash around in my head so kudos for that but i agree with Mary on the slavery topic that was talked about

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