Audio Soundscape designed by Sam Uribe Botero, Slip casting taught by Mira Simonton-Chao, Project funded by Arts Engine
To Hold a Body
Gray Snyder

After years a dresser becomes an altar
while steady hands carve inlets and wombs
time erodes purpose, mutates it
into something unfamiliar, unpractical
drawers erupt, disrupt function
the Object becomes the Body

While attending funeral services and ceremonies for my grandfather, Wanchai, I found myself reexamining my understanding of the man I had known. During acts of communal remembering, I saw unfamiliar vestiges of him in recollections from other mourners. I wondered how the inconsistencies of memory can create opportunities for transformation, and how memories of a person can be held and constructed in spaces, objects, and rituals.

To Hold a Body is an entropic altar that serves as an effigy for individuals I grieve and as a reminder that these relationships can remain active and expansive through acts of remembering. In my ongoing relationship with grief, objects have served as access points into the past. I have tethered ephemeral memories to enduring objects in hopes of sustaining the memory through time so that I might be able to preserve an accurate recollection of the past. But each re-use of a mold involves tearing and erosion, eliminating the possibility of these objects being perfect reproductions of the last.

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