Photography by Devika Bilimoria
: addendum; plural noun: addenda
In documents, an addendum is an additional document not included in the main part of the original, usually compiled and executed after the main document, which contains additional terms, obligations or information.
addendum; Archiving the Ephemeral – is the latest project by Leisa Shelton/Fragment31, and a reflection on 2019, marking 30yrs of continuous arts practice in Australia, by the artist.
The project involves the collation, public display and durational burning of the full archive of practice, in a series of hosted public events and public burnings across 2019 toward a major exhibition in 2020 of Ephemeral Artist Archives, in partnership with the Abbotsford Convent.
“It is responsive to the insights gained during recent works; Mapping, Scribe and Performing the Archive, which have moved me from questioning a cultural ‘lack’ of formal ‘Archives’ as processes that recognize and honor linages of practice and our senior artists here in Australia, toward a recognition of the ‘Embodied Archive’ held in the memories and lived experience of those who are in the room with our work.
Particularly through my current work, Scribe, http://www.fragment31.com/scribe/ I have heard in the most exquisite and moving detail how deeply present and active the oral histories of practice are within audiences and public alike.
The fact of these Embodied Archives AND the fact that there is no where for performance archives to be housed in Australia, should I seek to “give this one away”, has led me to design a process which both reveals this ‘lack’ and offers a future model for ways of re-membering our cultural lineages of practice in Australia, while also acknowledging that we live within a cultural heritage of indigenous knowledge and knowledge transfer that respects oral histories and ephemeral processes for the holding of memory, generation to generation”. LS
Addendum; takes the body of practice as a device to consider, speak to and reflect on the cultural landscape of the arts in Australia through the bespoke lens of this one Independent Artist Archive and proposes a model for non-institutional, embodied archives.
The documents will be burned one by one, in a bespoke incinerator designed by long time collaborator James McAllister, enabling the ashes of each project / body of work, to be collected, bound and packaged individually, to then be gathered as an exhibited work of residual documents/ASH.
The bound and hand-sewn, labeled packages of ash from each single project across the 30yrs will be sold and dispersed across Australia. I will invite members of the public to become a custodian of ash.
The project publicly launched on September 13th, with the full archive on public display for one week and a panel discussion as part of the Melbourne Conversations series.
On October 17th, Stage 02# Releasing the Archive begins the burning, with custodians and the general public invited to gather and share a meal.
Public Burnings of the Archive will continue in November as part of Abbotsford Convents Open Studio program.
All public events will be housed at the Industrial School, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne. For bookings and details visit:
Each week the artist will write and publish online an addendum, in response to the weeks work, current processes and reflective responses to the experience of the work, week by week.
“addendum asks those who have witnessed, engaged with and participated in these years of my work to BE the Archive, as I will leave no other trace.” LS
READ AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE WEEKLY addendum here
Project assistants Devika Bilimoria and Luna Mrozik Gawler.
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