Lianca Heemro

By focusing on the archaeology and genealogy of memory as an application to further understand history, heritage and cultural phenomena, Lianca Heemro explores various mediums of performance, photography, installation, colour and text. In these two separate photographic series (Die oorblywende and Die doek van my kulture) deal with the engagement of recorded histories, cultural semiotics, episodic memory and semantic memory. Die doek, translates into English as Headscarf. In my culture, die doek has a long historic and symbolic significant in cultural dress. As well as that, I reference die doek recurringly because it has a place in my heart – my late grandmother, who I was very fond of, always wore a doek. As long as I knew her, I would always see her wearing different patterned and coloured doeks - every day. Along with this, vibrant colours and materials are exceedingly linked to Coloured South African identity. When I re-look at my memory, I especially would think this of Cape Town, where I grew up. It is commonly known, that during the time period when South Africa was colonised, clothing and tradition from various cultures had been adopted by the groups of people whose descendants classify as modern-day Coloured South Africans. This symbolism of clothing is addressed in my work. In terms of Die doek van my kulture, the beginning of visual illusion in this work is addressed with the attention to colour. Colour tampering has been made to my skin colour, which has been edited to a grey tone. In this way, reference is made to the power of black and white photography and film. I focus on referencing image-making and visual documentation of the past. The history of image-making as well as representation in image-making are dually analysed. The next focal point is the notion of colour memory performance. Scientifically, the colour red has been proven to enhance memory performance; which is implemented in this photographic work in order to covey the importance of focusing on memory.

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