Installation for the Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014

In the spring of 2013 chicago-based artists, Lauren Edwards and Kera MacKenzie, exhibited the show Burden of Proof at ACRE Projects, curated by Kate Bowen. This exhibition asked a number of questions regarding the relationships between represented space and the space of representation, ownership of narrative, and the nature of objects as catalysts. Bowen, Edwards and MacKenzie then used the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference space to re-visit similar questions, with an increased focus on how documentation of a past event can become its own original.

Starting from a six-foot by six-foot stage in Chicago on which a re-enactment occurred, using Freud’s consultation room as a historical site of animism, the artists transposed that occurrence to Urbana-Champaign through various methods of documentation. Photographs and objects appeared and re-appeared in both spaces, allowing the sites to be both originals and facsimiles. This project addressed the convergence of time and location through a re-activation of objects from dormant or distant histories, using a floor plan as a guide to reanimate past and unseen spaces. As memory is revisited and becomes new again, the impossibility of ever fully visualizing the history of the objects present is debated; the source of their being is always in flux with the past and the present. With a particular interest in the floorplan created from the three sites involved (Freud’s consultation room, the stage in Chicago, and the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference), the work at TAG was a floor-based installation attempting to map all three spaces onto each other.

Installation Documentation