Heritage/ Site

Beacon Art Project 2006



At what point does a site become historically valid? Who decides what is historically valid and what is not, and on what basis are these decisions made? What do these sites tell us about the culture we live in?

History is a hierarchical system of representation. The people and places history chooses to represent do not achieve longevity by chance, they are the people who have had a voice in their life time, the rich, the powerful and the outstanding.

The language of historical representation demonstrates a powerful, hierarchical system. That being the voice of science or objectivity, over lived experience, local knowledge or the understanding of a place.

The problem of history is symptomatic of a wider struggle, that of representation. In seeking to represent something- a place, a community, a situation- the experience must be mediated and it is the mediation of experience that shapes our understanding of the world, our history and our future.

‘Heritage / Site’ takes 5, Lindway Court – my flat, as a starting point through which to explore this process of representation. Placing my inner life under the microscope of social, economic and political contexts. Through the objectification of my life I begin to understand my place through the eyes of the culture I live in. I also see that my heritage is represented not in castles or monuments but through incidental, ephemeral, objects; a tea towel, a table or a wooden box, signify my lineage.

Commissioned and shown as part of Beacon Art Project 2006

Project © Jennie Savage 2006