by Ling Tiong
Looking into someone else’s home from the outside: this is the position that Boedi Widjaja places the viewer of The Lode in my Heart, an installation created for Closure, an exhibition exploring the implications of living in a rapidly changing urban landscape.
To view part of the artwork, one stands on a small wooden chair placed outside the window of a ground floor flat. Peering in, the viewer is first confronted with the window grilles that form a barrier between oneself and the room. Nonetheless, one can see beyond the grilles into the room itself. Mounted on the wall directly facing the window is a photograph of a man with a large, white rectangular object behind him. The door to the room has been removed, and its doorway has been sealed with a piece of plywood, barring entry from the inside of the flat. The door itself is nowhere to be seen.
In accessing our own memories, we sometimes experience them in the third person, as if looking in from the outside. This seems to suggest an interior or “inside” to memory that can be inhabited. Yet, no matter how clearly memory is perceived, it can never be entered; we are perpetual outsiders looking into a sealed room.
The Load in My Heart
Unknown to the viewer, the photograph documents another event in the artist’s life that underlines the lapse between perception and memory. Following its removal, the door was tied to the artist’s body and dragged around Teban Gardens estate. Widjaja sustained physical exertion and injury in this grueling act – at one point, the door came undone and slammed onto his body. He recounted that the friction of the door dragging on the hard ground created a loud, unpleasant, grating noise. The viewer does not witness this physical event. By the time one sees the artwork, all that remains is a placid photograph void of the physical experience. The artist’s presence and experience has been diminished.
For the entire duration of the exhibition, the room is sealed off and cannot be entered. The live physical act of Widjaja pulling the door behind him is not witnessed in real-time. The viewer is held at multiple distances – both spatial and temporal – from getting close to the artwork and the artist himself. In The Lode in My Heart, perception is only possible as outsider.
Teban Gardens was built as a public housing project serving Jurong Industrial Estate, part of a parcel of land reclaimed from a mangrove swamp in 1970. The estate has since been designated for redevelopment and “rejuvenation”, and several blocks of the estate will be demolished.
Memory is different from physical space. As art and cultural theorist Hubert Damisch notes, “the construction of new buildings presupposes the demolition of those previously occupying the same site, whereas the unconscious can easily accommodate the survival of archaic formations beside others that have supplanted them, even on the same site.” Unlike the physical world, memories don’t have to be erased or forgotten for new memories to form. Memories will survive the future.
The word “lode” is a homonym of the word “load,” and the words share etymological origins in the Old English. Widjaja chooses “lode,” emphasising that he does not choose memory as his burden. The lode is a geological deposit of metallic minerals, such as gold, that either fills a crack in an array of rock, or is deposited between rock layers. The lode separates and splits the rock from itself, and it also fills the gap with precious ore. Although it is impossible to inhabit memory, the gap between memory and the present is a space of possibility. In Widjaja’s formulation, therein lies the possibility for imagination and freedom.
艺术家黄晨晗（Boedi Widjaja）的作品《我心中的矿脉》（The Lode in my Heart）是 以“揭示生活在快速变化的城市景观中之内涵”为主题的展览-Closure中的一个装置作品。 艺术家将观看者置于屋外，从外面向里观看他人的屋子。
为了观看部分艺术作品，观看者需站在组屋一楼窗外的小木椅上，凝视屋里。横在 眼前的窗栅将观察者和屋子隔开。尽管如此，观看者还是可以透过窗栅看到屋子的里面。正 对着窗的墙上挂着一幅照片，照片上是一位男性，身后放着一个大的、白色的方形物品。屋 子里的门被拆除了，门口也用胶合板封上了，让人无法进入房间里面。观看者根本看不到门 在哪里。
当我们在回顾记忆时，我们有时会以第三者的身份去体验往事，这就像是从外面向里 观察一样。这似乎表明我们的记忆本身会栖息于某种记忆深处。但是，不管我们感觉到记忆 是何等清晰，我们也永远无法走进记忆，因为我们永远都只能在封闭的房子的外面逗留。
观看者并不知道，照片也记录了艺术家生活中的另外一个故事，凸显了感知与记忆之 间的距离。门在拆除后，被绑到艺术家的身上在Teban花园地区拖行。在费力搬动的过程 中，门松动了，砸到了创作者身上，使他不禁耗费了体力并且还受了伤。他说门在坚实的地 面拖动时产生的摩擦发出了很大并刺耳的噪音。观看者不能亲眼目睹此事，因此在看这个艺 术作品时，看到的只是一幅波澜不惊的照片而已，而艺术家的存在和经历却被减弱了。 在整个展览期间，屋子都是被封了的，无法进入。艺术家在身后拖动门的情景也不是 能够实时看到的。观看者被置于不同的时空距离，无法接近艺术品和艺术家本身。在《我心 中的矿脉》（The Lode in my Heart）中，观看者只能作为一个局外人来感知这幅作品。
Teban花园是裕廊工业区的公共住房项目，其部分土地源自1970年所开垦的红树林沼 泽。之后，Teban花园地区被指定进行重建和“复兴”，几个街区的楼盘将被拆除。 记忆不同于实体空间。正如艺术和文化理论家Hubert Damisch所说的那样：“建设新 建筑的前提就是拆迁所选地址上原有的建筑。但是人的潜意识却更加容易使古老的形态和它 们取代者共存，哪怕是在同一个地方。”和物理世界不同的是，新的记忆的产生，并不需要 删除或遗忘已有的记忆。记忆在未来依然可以存在。
“lode”和“load”属于同音异义词，两者在古英语中有同样的词源。艺术家选择了 前者，意在表明他并没有将记忆看作是一种负担。“lode”意为矿脉，是金等金属矿物的地 质沉积。矿脉或形成于岩石缝隙之间或沉积于岩层之间。矿脉将岩石与自己分开，也用珍贵 的矿石填平缝隙。记忆虽然无法被占用，但是记忆和现实之间可能存在空隙。正如艺术家黄 晨晗所言，在这空隙恰使想象和自由具有了可能性。