Rebekah Alviani


Rebekah Alviani


an exploration of objecthood and object memory



Transience pieces hanging on gallery wall

Artist's Statement

“Everything counts – not as part of the object, but as part of the situation in which its objecthood is established...”

When I think of the term “transient” I think of it as meaning to move quickly, to be unable to remain stationary. The actual definition according to Oxford is, “lasting only for a short time; impermanent.” Given these definitions it seems I had a transient upbringing resulting in seven moves in a fourteen-year period to six continental states. I remember “home” being within the belongings that my family and I took from physical property to property. For me home was held within these objects – it still is. These reflections have led me to a new understanding of my upbringing and the way objects have shaped it. These understandings lead me to Yellow Dog Village.

Yellow Dog Village has a unique history with an unfortunate ending: total abandonment in 2010 due to contaminated water sources. Community members were given 48 hours to vacate

the small town. Some chose to collect all their belongings and leave their home in clean condition. Others left multiple belongings that included furniture, clothing, children’s toys, even family photographs. Because of how meaningful objects are in my life, I couldn’t fathom abandoning personal items for outsiders to come and scrutinize.

So, I became the outsider and traveled over 2,300 miles to make four visits in six months to Yellow Dog. I developed a relationship with the homes and objects left within them in an attempt to understand why they were left. I wondered, had the owners emotionally outgrown them? In the wake of such trauma, why were these things suddenly deemed unimportant? Were the objects’ memories tainted by the eviction of the community?

Through the documentation of this community’s objects and the recreation of physical aspects of Yellow Dog itself, I aim to create a participatory experience which encourages viewers to engage with the work at the floor level, such as how I encountered many of the objects within the village. I intend to guide viewers in understanding the village, as well as find meaning within concepts of objecthood and object memory: memories that individuals associate with a specific object or similar objects that are tied closely to a unique event. I hope to share the emotional and sensory experience I have had with the village with viewer-participants because doing so may foster reconnections with object memory.

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Updated: 04/26/2021 04:37PM