Centre for Media Arts Innovation, UTS
Publication Type:
Memory Flows
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"Cleanse" is a media artwork commissioned for the Memory Flows exhibition at The Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park, from May 14- June 20, 2010. Supported by national, competitive funding from the InterArts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, Memory Flows was also supported by the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, the ABC and UTS. Memory Flows featured fifteen media artworks, curated by Norie Neumark, Deb Turnbull and Sophia Kouyoumdjian. "Cleanse" is a video installation examining the complex histories of memory and place associated with Sydney’s Parramatta River. Cleanse explores the murky traces of the Parramatta River’s contentious past – the Radium Hill uranium refinery at Hunter’s Hill, chemical contamination from the Union Carbide plants at Rhodes, the insane asylum at Bedlam Point – and shifting narratives of memory and place through video montages of the river’s past and present that are threaded into an immersive installation comprised of authentic 1930’s river artefacts and video projections. "Cleanse" was exhibited within Memory Flows, an Australia Council funded project exploring water, flows and memory, suggesting “we are in an active and ethical relationship with our waterways…We can sense the flow of memory between ourselves and rivers as a network of complex relations” (Norie Neumark, Memory Flows catalogue, ISBN 978-0-9808082-0-9). The Memory Flows exhibition was reviewed in RealTimeArts “the shapes of water”, July 2012, with "Cleanse" singled out as “the most stylish” in terms of its “narrative approach to the thematic”, so that “these memory fragments are intriguingly rich with a sense of the past, implying an innocence but also an ignorance in our past interaction with the ecosystem”.
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