Embodied memory Shadow and index in Family Ties by Eulalia Valldosera

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This article explores questions of memory and corporeal trace in the photographic series Family Ties (2012) by the Catalan visual and performance artist Eulàlia Valldosera. It situates her work in relation to the formal and conceptual shift in art that took place in the international arena in the 1960s, and that was characterised by a disregard for the material art-object and a turn to ephemeral, conceptual and performative artistic practices. Focusing on the concept of index (as bodily trace) and shadow (as the materialisation and/or visualisation of the subject’s unconscious), the article analyses Valldosera’s use of these two recurrent motifs in the visual arts as a means of engaging with the omissions and discontinuities of her most immediate cultural and historical context. In so doing, it shows how traces of past bodily relations in space – past instances in the construction of the self – are activated, performed and materialised through the body.

Keywords

  • body, cultural memory, index, installation art, performance art, photography, shadow, space
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)261-281
JournalJournal of Romance Studies
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2019

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