This project explores performance of identity and construction of gender by archiving the ephemera of a life using a sample set of belongings. It asks questions about the evolving cultural roles of archives and archivists as technological change shifts our ways of thinking and expectations regarding ownership of knowledge.
Red is elective – like all coloured objects, red is usually a choice and not the default; a study of white, black or grey would have different connotations – in the UK most of us have black, grey or white items in the form of ‘white goods’ – home computing, music systems, and/or domestic appliances. Such objects speak of the collective ‘we’, and delineate a society’s choices. In an environment of mass-production, with neutrally toned defaults, colour becomes an indicator of individual preference.
In performing identity, we recreate ourselves over and over; endlessly accumulating and discarding visual cues to clue people in to our ‘real’ selves, or at least the selves we wish to reveal (to be real?); ‘that’ jacket, ‘the’ gadget, ‘this’ book. I am interested in the probability that as individuals we imagine ourselves to be more emotionally transparent and others more perceptive than is often the case, and that collectively we may only just be beginning to understand the nature of our subjective existences.
Much of our seemingly external reality seems to be created inside our own heads; from the illusion of colour peripheral vision, to that of objectivity, or the sense that others must essentially think similarly to us.
Red is emblematic of this unconscious act of self-creation; red itself can only truly be seen in daylight – night vision operates in the blue/green spectrum, and in darkness or most artificial light, red is ‘filled-in’ by subliminal cranial-based post processing; red is perceived more often than it is seen.
Red is interesting; red is polarising; red is difficult.