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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Between Hope and Desire: The Location of Home

Nancy De Freitas.

This paper examines the relationship between three core conceptual maps that overlay the creative territory of the author's current creative practice: 1) Memory and the concept of geomentality; 2) Desire as a motivating force and 3) Home as a personal and social construct.

Together, these conceptual maps reveal an unstable emotional terrain of intersecting and asymmetrical narratives that constitute a view of place, in particular the private place that represents home.

The project that is discussed in this paper is the second in a series of multi-media installation artworks. The first project, Parallel Histories, was concerned with notions of perceived identity in relation to an immigrant's sense of connection to land, space and place. It drew on memory, social history, genealogy, physical geography and literature. Two ideas were central to that work - place and identity, but in particular, the intersection of place, memory and identity.

The conceptual location of the current work has moved towards the more specific identification of place as home. While some of the ideas that inform the work have become clearer and more interrelated through the actual process of making of the series, some ideas seem more complex and inexplicable. It has become quite difficult now to separate those ideas that initiated the work and those that evolved out of the making of it. Sometimes it seemed to be important to be able to track that conceptual evolution but in reality, like memory itself, the exact chronology is fugitive and it is probably not possible to do so.


Nancy De Freitas  (New Zealand)
Senior Lecturer in Art and Design
School of Art and Design
Auckland University of Technology

  • Identity
  • Memory
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Borders
  • Art installation
Person as Subject
  • de Freitas, Nancy

(30 min Conference Paper, English)