colour video 07:45
(tracing paper, plain paper, ink and white thread)
52° 36′ 9.1″ N, 1° 25′ 19.5″ W attempts to inscribe the site of a personal trauma through a textual and visual narrative which oscillates between confessional, historical and geographical details. In response to both the characteristics of the site and the nature of traumatic memories, the narrative is elliptic and centripetal. I utilized text and visuals as veils that overwrite the site to produce a palimpsest in both content and form, through which the site and the traumatic event are continually pointed toward and yet never quite reached. To date 52° 36′ 9.1″ N, 1° 25′ 19.5″ W takes the form of a bookwork and video.
The site of the traumatic event is an aqueduct in rural Leicestershire that is unnamed, unlisted and unmarked even on the map of the canal that is displayed there. The site is located ambivalently inside the memory and as the physical manifestation of the memory. The site is a redundant space that now functions only for recreational purposes, namely boating and dog walking. The site is a transitional and perchance heterotopic space, which Foucault describes as
an extraordinary bundle of relations because it is something through which one goes, it is also something by means of which one can go from one point to another, and then it is also something that goes by. (Foucault, Of Other Spaces)
52° 36′ 9.1″ N, 1° 25′ 19.5″ W attempts to reflect this heterotopic ‘bundle of relations’ linguistically and thematically as the references were collated from diverse sources in fields such as geography, botany, Shakespeare, military uniform and dictionary definitions, which are all drawn from aspects of local history, geography and architecture. The resultant text intersects with confessional details of the traumatic event, oscillating between the literal, the symbolic and the seemingly unrelated.