An old spelling of my name is a new single channel video work that will reconfigure personal archived video footage to examine the role of memory in the diasporic position. Drawing from conventions of home videos and cinéma vérité, this collaged video portrait will be accompanied by a sound composition.
Chicanx academic, Cherríe Moraga writes about the role of memory in the construction of diasporic identities and proposes that remembering offers a radical restructuring of our lives. An old spelling of my name takes up Moraga’s ideas around “the right to remember.” Colonisation has produced a separation from personal and collective memories, and in turn, causes a rupturing of and denial of inherited knowledges, embodied knowledges and language. In examining the memories that I have been capturing in photographic and video documentation, I want to address this erosion.
The title references the biomythography of Audre Lorde – Zami: A new spelling of my name (1982) – in which she interweaves truth and fiction in the recounting of her youth. I will draw on this political and performative writing process putting it into visual form through the assemblage and editing of my video. The title references the literal changing of my name from Claudia Esperanza Suarez Castro to Claudia Nicholson, acknowledging that I am part of another culture with other languages and another possible imagined future. - Claudia Nicholson
Claudia Nicholson is an interdisciplinary artist based on Gadigal land (Sydney). Her practice examines psychic and physical connections to place through multidisciplinary forms of art making including painting, installation, performance and video. She is interested in creating acts of collective remembrance, exploring the ways in which we navigate the complexities of identity in a post-colonial context.
An old spelling of my name, 2020, Claudia Nicholson