Held (aka Beheld).

Show or exhibition

Miller, G. 2006. Held (aka Beheld).
Title of workHeld (aka Beheld).
CreatorsMiller, G.

Held (originally entitled 'Beheld'- see documentation, an audio-visual installation, asks what kind of memorial is possible for those forgotten, failed migrants who take drastic measures in an attempt to change their lives. The piece is formed of ten fragile glass bowls holding sky. When they are held, they come to life, charged with vibrating sound. Each contains a location transformed by a lost life. This work was created through site visits and from 2004-06 I visited places around the world where migrants have fallen from aircraft – stowaways who have hidden in the wheel bays of commercial airlines. As the planes approach airports and lower their wheels, bodies fall to the ground, charging a particular piece of ground with significance. The work considers what it means that the ground has been witness to this fall and how the divergent realities of those living on the ground and those falling converge and collide. A key concern was to represent the geography of the personal as it meets the geography of the political demonstrating how the body impacts across national boundaries. The work was created through a process of filtering the experiences of the places visited and interweaving an examination of the scraps of personal narratives that were available. A boy of 14 falls into a field in the Black Forest. A Pakistani man falls into a Homebase carpark in Richmond. An unknown Russian falls into a suburban garden near Paris. The concept of a memorial for these virtually unknown individuals led to the development of an artefact that survives time – a symbol of safety, affirmation of the value of human life. Holding these fragile vessels initiates audiovisual material designed to resonate and stimulate an experiential shift in the ‘spectator' - a meditation on the fallen.

Research GroupCentre for Research into Creation in the Performing Arts (ResCen)
First publicly available date
Print08 Jun 2006
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Dec 2008
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