The International Archive of Things Left Unsaid

This was recommended to me by Laila after the crit. When accessing this site you are allowed to experience two unsaid confessions.  The viewer is then given the opportunity to submit their own contribution anonymously. The artist, Rhiannon Armstrong, recorders herself recounting the confessions then posts the recording with in the catalogue. What stood out for me was the articulation/delivery and tone of Armstrong’s voice. Her voice is muted, soft, dreamlike,  she is a god figure of sorts.. still human yet the omnipresent narrator. Armstrong takes her time with the significance of each word. I liked the rhythm, the occasional pauses in her speech.. very melancholic. Each speech commences and finishes with a slow breath in and out. This reminds me of a piece I did in foundation where I recorded the sound of my breathing and played it on portable speakers in various public spaces  i.e. a bus stop or under a bridge by the canal.

This online archive reminds me of the performance piece Intimacies Janet Cardiff calibrated on which was inspired by Linda Montano’s “Seven Years of Living Art” at the New Museum.

“The classified ad for the 1992 version of the performance, Intimacies, ran: “When is close too close? Four artists are asking you to help them explore the natural desire for and the boundaries of intimacy. Call 265-5787, Wed. – Sat., noon to 5:30…” 

The archive made me realize that the interest I have in memory and confession is very self-centred… perhaps because I have tried to collect memories/confessions from others but found that no one was willing to tell me in front of my little mic recorder. However, it is true that I’m interested in my own personal experiences. It is away of processing, and understanding myself. I am always trying to create an image of myself. I have to stand in front of a figurative mirror, looking at a constructed image of myself to feel that I know myself. Narrative is perhaps omnipresent and it takes a viewer to subjectively identify it or perhaps narrative is a vital coping mechanism for the human mind to approach mortality and non-linear time.

The International Archive of Things Left Unsaid

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