Lesions in the Landscape
Lesions in the Landscape, 2015, 35' 30", three-screen video and multi-channel sound installation.
Lesions in the Landscape reflects on the experience of Claire, a woman living with amnesia, interweaving an exploration of the depopulated island of St Kilda, a remote archipelago located in the North Atlantic. The work explores a series of striking parallels between Claire’s experience of amnesia and the historical lesions in the physical and cultural landscape of St Kilda. Claire’s access to her memories ends abruptly, echoing the evacuation of the inhabitants of St Kilda on 29 August 1930, ending over 4000 years of continuous habitation. Both share a sense of isolation. For both, the past is constructed by others. The historical account of St Kilda is written by outsiders, its story continually reimagined, exoticised and mythologised, with stark omissions - the presence of a missile tracking range for live testing of weapons systems. An analogy for the neurological experience of amnesia, the ‘island with inaccessible cultural memory’, embodies the phenomenon of lost connection and without memory it is not possible to imagine the future.
Supported by the Wellcome Trust
Images: Lesions in the Landscape, installation view, FACT, photograph Jon Barraclough
With thanks to the National Trust for Scotland and the Scottish Screen Archive, NLS