NO MORE LYING

 

Through the making and presentation of this work Tracy Mackenna & Edwin Janssen probed what the purpose and value of art might be in dealing with difficult and sensitive subject matter and its potential as a vehicle for rebalancing psychological frailties.

 

Re-configured objects transcended their routine significance to evoke the natural disorder and dilemmas inherent in remembering. Within No More Lying these charged pieces played the role of conduits for intimate experiences, oscillating between history and memory. Recollections of a house, a location or a tree were at once soft and imprecise; made manifest here through representations in concrete materials.

 

As things with emotional relationships ascribed to them and invested with new significance, they brought into being an awareness of absence and the insistence of the past in the present. Although particular to an individual, their potency lay in their ability to ‘belong’ to everyone, to commemorate multiple places, occasions and experiences.

 

No More Lying draws on familial experience of living with an alcoholic parent, translated into an installation that combines a variety of artefacts, images and a narrated text. It is intended as a ‘conversation piece’ that invites reflection on the effect of alcohol dependence syndrome on children.

Tracy’s narrated artistic writing accompanies a display of personal objects, a scale model of the family home and a replica geological form made in situ over the course of the exhibition project. This intimate environment took on the metaphorical capacity of a memento mori, reminding us of our mortality and of the fragility of human life.

 

The ‘Gatherings’, interdisciplinary public events that took place in the site of the No More Lying exhibition enabled exchange about different forms of substance misuse informed by the work of DJCAD Communication Design students in the context of isamDUNDEE2015 and included 'No More Lying and Other Stories', an artist-led discussion around the development of the exhibition and the personal background of 'No More Lying'.

 

Commissioned by the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM) for the isamDUNDEE2015 congress and initiated by Jackie Malcolm. Centrespace, Visual Research Centre, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee, 2015. Funded by Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership.