ANCESTRAL (RE)MEMORIES MYTH 'ND LORE
There is magic, reverence and mystery in the spaces, objects and writings of Viktor le. Givens a multi-modal performance artist, whose practice centers around the gathering and arrangement of ancestral objects to re-contextualize the seemingly mundane into the spectacularly sacred. Part ritual ‘nd part prose performance score this book is written to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to (re)reading, (re)sounding, (re)imagining ‘nd (re)staging memories ‘nd pathologies of his Afro-southern-ancestors.
The American Folklife Center defines an ethnographic field collection as: a multi-format, unpublished group of materials gathered and organized by an anthropologist, folklorist, ethnomusicologist, or other cultural researcher to document human life and traditions.
Why should one bother to investigate material objects in the quest to celebrate culture? Objects are used by a much broader cross section of the population and are therefore potentially a more wide-ranging, more representative source of information than words. They offer the possibility of a way to understand the mind of the great majority of people, past and present, who remain otherwise inaccessible except through impersonal records and the distorting view of a contemporary imagination. Just as persons invest aspects of themselves in things, it is now an established framework across disciplines of material culture that things themselves might be said to have biographies. The idea of things as inanimate and passive carriers of meaning or "props" of master narratives has been abandoned in favor of theories of agency deriving from a range of theoretical and socio-spiritual perspectives.Objects have the ability to trigger a “kinesthetic imagination” or act as “faculties of memory” in the humans experience .
It becomes the responsibility of the contemporary makers to release the power of the conspicuous back into the invisible realm with added meanings and reinventions on past traditions that they effect change within the community. My role as a maker , and descendent from the continent is no different from those who first arrived on the shores of the New world: to take the technologies of yesterday to suit the forms and needs of the now in order to navigate the complexities of the future. We must remember that African art is dedicated to the management of aesthetic and cosmic energies in the world, it is both metaphysically functional as well as visually evocative.