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Alexa Wright

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PHI, Montreal, 2014
PHI, Montreal, 2014
As part of a long-term interdisciplinary study of the psycho-social effects of heart transplantation based at the University of Toronto, I was one of four artists invited to make work that responds to the experience of heart transplant recipients. 'Heart of the Matter', first shown as part of 'Hybrid Bodies' at PHI centre, Montreal in January 2014, is an eight channel audio installation made in response to this interdisciplinary research project.

My work focuses on the personal narratives through which a person constructs his or her individual identity and sense of self in relation to others, and to the ‘norm’. Observing the scientific work carried out by the research team, I became fascinated by the question of what it means to incorporate the heart of another, both literally and metaphorically. ‘Heart of the Matter’ draws attention to the impact that heart transplant can have on a recipient’s sense of self as a bounded and unique individual. It also explores the correlation between a physical and an emotional exchange of hearts.

In the installation, monologues compiled from individual accounts of the experience of heart transplant are juxtaposed with personal narratives of intimate relationships. The stories, which emerge from a series of simple felt jackets, are activated as visitors approach. As more people enter the space, the eight individual stories are overlaid to form a cacophony of interconnected testimonies about the effects of a physical or emotional change of heart - it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two.
KKW, Leipzig, 2016
KKW, Leipzig, 2016

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Web Links
Main Website
Heart of the Matter documentation 1
Heart of the Matter documentation 2
A View From Inside Wordpress
A View From Inside BBC Film
Conversation Piece
Cover Story
Piecing It Together
New video work in progress
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