Merete Røstad

Research project:
Exercises in Consciousness – re | staging forgetting as Art practice in Public space

Keywords: forgetting, politics of remembrance, public space

Exercises in Consciousness – re | staging forgetting as Art practice in Public space investigates collective memory and remembrance through artistic research and practice in public sphere. Furthermore the research examines how remembrance and memory transform into works of Art. A relationship between consciousness and memory is crucial to our sense of self, community and society.

Exercises in Consciousness intends to expand the understanding of memory by exploring it as an embodiment of sensorial practice as an extended social vocabulary. Memory resides in our every day rituals and social relationships as well in memorials, traditions and remembrance. Accordingly as a part of her investigation Røstad will be looking into the politics of forgetting and collective memory through Art making and our everyday experiences as witnesses in public space. Memory matters — not only for scientists but also for artists and the public alike. The more we discover within the field of remembrance and forgetting the more we understand of our self and our place within the world. Therefore the importance of research on conscious and ethical art processes dealing with collective memory as well as forgetting is imminent. For an artist working in public space, the field opens for not only ethical but also fundamental issues on the role of the artist in such processes. Røstad will attempt an investigation into the realms of the imaginary of collective memory and forgetting engaging with community and opening for interdisciplinary dialogue in public space. The research will feature her findings combined with historical and found material translated into an archive of methodology and vocabulary of remembrance as forgetting in art practice.

Merete Røstad
is a visual artist and curator whose projects are rooted in examinations of publics, collective memory, remembrance, and archives. Frequently engaging with public space and communities, her process-based practice explores our everyday exchanges with the histories inscribed in our surroundings, and how we come to read the traces that are left behind. Each of her works is developed through an on-going commitment to the inherent potential of spatial and temporal constructs to serve as catalysts for a deeper engagement with history, identity, and memory. Røstad lives and works in Oslo and Berlin and is currently an Artistic Research Fellow at the department of Arts and Crafts at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.