Rachel Wilberforce’s practice explores contemporary subjectivity through the relationship between the everyday and other spaces, specifically drawing from Foucault’s notion of heterotopia, through photography, collage, and mixed media installation.
Wilberforce is drawn to places with uncertain borders, sites on the edge, cut off and precarious, hovering between different histories, uses and meanings.
The work aims to prompt questions about our often ambivalent relationship, and role, within everyday space, and the potential for our mind to dissociate space, or reveal the transcendental. In responding to the physicality of a place -or space, in transition, the work considers memory and trace, as well as elements of freedom, control and transgression that manifest across the interior and exterior realm, as a spatial and imaginative experience.
By reassembling fragmented details (textures, objects, architecture) the work becomes layered: at once historical and present, fictitious and real, liminal and fixed.
Currently, Wilberforce is investigating ways of how an image mutates, breaks or becomes material. She is particularly interested in how site specificity and the photographic image, via installation configurations, determines a photograph’s objectness. In extending the picture plane with sculptural and collaged elements with reflective or transparent surfaces, the work explores the notion of thresholds and mirroring, in carving out reimagined pathways through spaces.
1. The 'other' spaces are linked to Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopia: 'something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites… found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted'. Foucault, (1998) .
Wilberforce was awarded the Rector’s Scholarship for MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts.