The missing absence

Art installation

Interim Show MA Theatre Design

Wimbledon College of Art Theatre, London

27.04.15 / 01.05.15

I lost track of time, becoming lost in that other way that isn’t about dislocation but about the immersion where everything else falls away

Rebecca Solnit. (2003) A Field guide to getting lost. Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 36.


Here is where my imagination flows, losing a physical connection with the environment, traveling around unfamiliar realms.

Here the unfamiliar enchants me, challenging my ratio and pushing me to an unconscious desire of an unknown journey.

Here is where the intangible becomes tangible and the evidence of an absence makes a new presence.


This is an installation piece about loss and absence. An attempt to evoke an absence through a presence.

People experience loss in different ways and afterwards they tend to transform it in a new entity, following a back and forth process of accepting the absence.

The overall purpose of this work was to interpret these new entities through objects.

I have explored the theme from two different perspectives; one related to my personal experience and one to that of tree other persons.

This approach has been developed both in terms of content and structure by accurately settling the proximity between the audience and the piece’s contents.

What the visitors face are two layers overlapping in one space.

The first one consists in an abstract map drawn on the wall as a sequence of “framed” objects linked together.

Each object represents a needed stage to move to its next, each one is part of overall picture: my cognitive map of absences, the result of a process of abstraction and reinterpretation of memories and past experiences of my life.

The visual impact I was looking for, since the beginning of the process, was related to the assemblage of the objects.

Taking them separately, they carry certain meanings but, when related to each other, their individual meanings disappear being replaced by a new ensemble.

The second one consists of tree objects, which represent my interpretation of the other people’s absences, supported by tree plinths.

And a kneeling stool on the floor.

It allows people to interact with the objects on a more intimate scale of consumption that involves smells, sounds and physicality.

It evokes the presence and the trace of the person that came before, his actions within the boundaries of the space.

So, why the missing absence?

What I have learned from this work is that people need time to accept an absence and figure it out as new presence.

Sometimes those “latent” absences are just empty drawers of our mind, waiting to become places of memories we want to get over or to be filled with new presences.