Paul Emmanuel has hung Grahamstowns past out on a line in an exhibition entitled The Lost Men. Like washing from the Monument, 21 pieces of silk voile blow in the wind. They ripple against the landscape, changing in the sunlight.
Specific pieces of my body were impressed with lead type, and then photographed, Emmanuel explains.
They were the names of the men who died in the Makana Wars. The Xhosa names were never recorded except in stories told by the white soldiers. They arent even full names. He recounts how the imprints had to be photographed before they began to fade. Then the photographs were transferred onto the silk panels.
Emmanuels exhibition exploits the landscape historically and geographically. Its that sort of contrast; an ironic juxtaposition with this and the Monument, he explains. I wanted to oppose so much of what the Monument is about, like permanence, granite, hardness, brick and mortar. Im playing with the ideas of memory on a direct level, with the weather, the elements, changing conditions.
Emmanuel believes memory is about impermanence.