becoming temporary / becoming permanent


becoming temporary (2012) / becoming permanent (2013)
The project I am proposing for the PICA residency 2017, involves work on an artist book, i.e. a drawing-object, entitled: 'becoming temporary (2012) / becoming permanent (2013)'.
This work may be supplemented by other drawings linked to the topic of migration and my basic concepts of ornamentation, landscape*, texture, and their alliances in transcultural contexts.
*landscape, in my understanding:
1. particular surrounding / environment, including social a. cultural fabric & 2. metaphor for 'ornament'

Concept and form
The book refers to my actual Australian partner visa applications:
(1) Temporary Residence visa, granted 2012; and (2) Permanent Residence visa, granted 2013.
Each book contains copies of the required application files and documents.
(The Department of Immigration and Citizenship recommends copying all documents before lodging them).

In the smooth mode of repetitive re-/production, I censor parts of the text I consider too private using black ballpoint pen on ordinary 80g, A4 office paper – a material that may fade and slowly reveal?

Over time, I created by hand my manufactured 'product' – drawing gaps / breaks / interstices within an endless, empty text… a texture symbolising the 'proof' of my love. I partly reveal, partly conceal and/or protect the sweet bond connecting me with my partner R over time and distance.

I will display the book-object (two in one books: one readable from the cover to the middle (tempoarary residence visa, p.1 - 2xx); then you have to turn around the book, as the second part is readable the reverse way from the middle (back) to the front (back) (permanent resident visa, p.80 – 1); both appliacations meeting in the middle. The Object shall be a touchable/ readable object, providing private insights to the public (the viewer / reader).

The object is accompanied by drawings referring to the context / the surrounding: they refer to my close neighbourhood in Northbridge, Perth. My favourite pace Hyde Park, i.e. ‘Hide Park’ – my retreat in the inner city where I go for my daily walks and free my head.

This project documents the contemporary experience of becoming a permanent resident in Western Australia, where my partner resides. In every sense, this process is political, requiring me, my partner and others to jump through bureaucratic hoops to prove my bona fides under the Australian Migration Act. As a contemporary artist,
I critically reflect on what this means and I wish to collaborate with PICA, the premier intuition for contemporary art in WA, to share that. Migration is a highly-emotive, politicised issue spanning the globe. Indeed, it is one of the major challenges of our time.

By being a 'permanent' resident, I am a tolerated guest in Australia. It is a performative artistic strategy to use my movement (between Europe-China-Australia) to reflect on the here and there and to mirror myself in the other.

My work ‘becoming temporary-becoming permanent’ specifically applies to the Australian context, but subsequently reflects a universal problematic in a globalised world. It aims to share deeply-personal, normally-private content with the viewer, thus providing insights into the processes of becoming a permanent resident in this country – a process that involves baring one's soul to faceless members of the bureaucracy.

Alice Dittmar