Arcadia

Arcadia often refers to a place of rustic innocence and simple, quiet pleasure.  It evokes the idea of an idyllic pastoral dream where life is both happy and wholesome.  This idea often implies that the past, another past, is a better alternative to the present.  It is often associated with nostalgia and the idea that our distant past is a model to which we should aspire.  As such, it never encompasses the brutal events, colonisation, war, discrimination, social inequality, racism, xenophobia, patriarchal values and so on, that were part of the creation of our idyllic past.  Memory has an amazing ability to blur, transform, erase what we don’t want to know or remember while illuminating the savoury part of our past. This series refers to this forgetful embellishing process that we love so much as it allows us to never question ourselves and have a rosy tinted vision of our past. The works appear to conform to this process of artful beautification but the vintage quality of these snapshots is undermined by a diffuse feeling that there is much more that meets the eye in these works, a notion that fills us with unease and interrogation.   

In that respect, Arcadia is intrinsically linked to our colonial past and our ongoing refusal to see its consequences lingering in our contemporary societies.

 

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