Kate Belton

Palimpsest (2012)

1 hour 18 min 29 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

"Palimpsest: The Things Which I Have Seen I Now Can See No More is a work in two parts. Palimpsest - a video (2012) Palimpsest - a sculpture (2013).

The video documents a boy writing coordinates from inside the original Ōtautahi / Christchurch CBD red zone, where major demolition occurred after the 2011 earthquake. The boy writes in white chalk on black builder's paper. The boy is left handed, so that as he writes he partially erases his writing, hence the title Palimpsest. The film speaks to the erasure of the physical city we occupy and the erasure of memory over time.

The second piece consists of a wall work, featured on the Northfacing wall of 166 Armagh Street. The sculpture replicates the boy's writing in white neon. The street co-ordinates make reference to prominent meeting places from before the earthquake and to the lights and signage of the CBD, which have been lost. The heart of the city, its warmth and light are gone.

This project calls upon us to remember that which is intimate, be it a map, familiar handwriting, a memory of place. Palimpsest seeks to reawaken people's memories of the city as it once was in contrast with the city we know now. It invites people to think about what has been lost and in doing so engage in imagining the future city we hope for."

Artist's statement

Other works by Kate Belton

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