Erasing The Knowledge ( 2019)

Since the referendum on Europe on the 23rd June 2016 the questions of identity and belonging have become essential. The British government has endorsed the removal of statutory rights common to all Europeans when they live abroad. The exclusion of Europeans as participants in British society has been legitimized by the phrase: The people have spoken.

I base my pieces on published Brexit studies from 2015 to 2017. My work is not a gesture of contempt for their findings but an acknowledgement. The significance of erasing text is to be found precisely in the impossibility of giving the projections outlined in the studies the importance to have an impact on changing the rhetoric in the media and decisions regarding Brexit. It seems that no form of rational critique will persuade the people or the government to stop this disaster. Since rational critique is dependent on free political and material conditions, these pieces explore the loss of the communicative function of knowledge. The erasure mirrors the concept of a purifying process to make Britain prosper again and the current British Zeitgeist of blaming the EU for everything. Imposing geometric coloured shapes, mainly rectangles to block out the text is a retreat into abstraction since the facts are not understood. The interpretation is open to the viewer in its widest form and echoes the outlook of the people and government implementing their fantasy of a return to a utopian past. The redaction of text carries with it the suggestion that what is present beneath the coloured rectangles is significant by light of its absence.
The tension between the eligible written evidence and the coloured abstract shapes creates an uncertainty which resonates with my own situation.

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