Unburying the Dead

“The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life and rest in unvisited tombs”.

-George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans), from her novel “Middlemarch”

“Unburying the Dead” is a sound installation that joins the fragmented and disconnected narrative to produce an analogical archive of the Arno’s Vale Cemetery located in Bristol.

Three members from the Friends of Arno’s Vale Cemetery graciously agreed to share their personal connections as well as their stories of saving the site from being developed for low cost housing. Through her research Sohn discovered the cemetery to be a living archive with great potential to connect the people of Bristol with its people of the past. At the same time making relevant today’s issues of preserving the wildlife, architecture, graves and memories as a result of years of neglect.

For the “5 Metres Exhibition”, Sohn transposed fragments of sounds and stories from the cemetery into the stairwell of a Victorian Paintworks Factory opposite the cemetery site. Filtered throughout three levels of the stairwell, one is invited to imagine walking through the geographically documented site of Arno’s Vale as they climb up and down the stairs.

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