Through the work of more than 20 artists and writers, PUBLIC 42: Traces explores varying artistic attempts to publicly mark and give memorial significance to past collective and/or state sanctioned wrongs that remain still unsettled and unsettling. Of particular interest here are the debates, contestations, and proposals that surround artistic attempts to recover, preserve, and publicly mark those sites, buildings, and objects associated with individual and collective experiences of trauma. In distinction to the erection of monuments or to the demarcation of commemorative spaces, the art projects and essays that inhabit this collection explore the uses of art, artistic practices, and aesthetic experiences in representing, working through, and learning from traumatic events. The contributions to Traces grapple with the very possibility of representation and remembrance, and at the same time reflect a commitment to the notion that encounters with art can solicit something that exceeds the desire for representation and may offer a connection to the past that reorients us to new possibilities for being in the present. How might the register of artistic works allow for a complex and dynamic negotiation with a difficult past and the ends and limits of commemorative practices and spaces?
The Annex Live
296 Brunswick Ave (at Bloor St)
Monday December 13, 2010