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Anti-monuments to the Immemorial

Exploring the how, why, and what next of our relationship to our environment.

Abstract

Monuments typify human habitation of place, memorialising ideologies of the prevailing power from moments in time. In recent decades, their form has undergone a revolution. Along with their transformation from the heavy permanence of monumentality, to the temporality of anti-monumental form — subject matter has also diametrically shifted from representing the state, to representing the marginalised. My practice-based research explores further the anti-monuments’ potential for social activism — to expand memorialisation beyond a human-centric narrative, to acknowledge the immemorial forces that shape place over deep time. An iterative creative process informs the major body of site-responsive works Human/Nature undertaken as Artist in Residence at Kyneton Botanic Gardens in regional Victoria, Australia, presented at the Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial 2018.
Drawing on the site’s deep time environmental and ideological origins as transformative forces, I created a series of anti-monuments: activating public space as an experimental laboratory to explore and discover the how, why, and what next of our relationship to our environment.

Published:
Pages:155 to 170
Section: RMIT University: Master of Arts (Art in Public Space)
How to Cite
Stanley, J. (2019) “Anti-monuments to the Immemorial”, The Journal of Public Space, 4(3), pp. 155-170. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v4i3.1227.

Author Biography

RMIT University
Australia Australia

Jessie Stanley lives and works in Central Victoria, Australia, and recently completed a major body of works as Artist in Residence at Kyneton Botanic Gardens in regional Victoria.
Stanley’s background in graphic design informs her socially engaged practice, which embraces the congruence of art in public space and graphic design as platforms for affecting the way meaning is produced within society. Upon completing a Bachelor of Visual Communication with First Class Honors at Monash University in 2001, Stanley undertook an internship at Fabrica in Italy in 2002; and then established her design studio Foundry (2003-2012), in Melbourne Australia. Her design/visual art projects have received international recognition; awards include the Type Directors Club of New York, Premiers Design Awards, and Australian Graphic Design Association, and have been exhibited internationally. In 2018 Stanley was awarded Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) with Distinction at RMIT University, and the Vice Chancellors List for Academic Excellence. 
Through typography, mapping, projection, and narrative, Stanley creates ephemeral works about place that contextualise our human experience within deep time and interstellar space. Works are site responsive and developed through an intensive process of historiographic and geographic research, underpinned by scientific theory. Unearthing the forces that shape place; Stanley stages scenarios that encourage curiosity in the sublime relationship we have with our environment.

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