Locvs: Memory and Transience in The Representation of Place

Krien Clevis

Doctoral Thesis

17 October 2013

Kitty Zijlmans
Peter Peters
Moniek Toebosch

Available at:
Leiden University Repository



As an artist I am fascinated by the phenomenon of place in relation to beginnings and final destinations. This study links up the concept of place with memory, with the idea of transience and the transition from life to death. My main research question addressed the following concern: how can I present my work in a way so that it both comprises a representation of place and emerges or exists as a place itself? As my research was geared toward places of meaning, I also aspired to create new places of meaning. My search for them involved a journey through time and space – not just à la recherche du temps perdu, but also à la recherche du lieu perdu. My research expanded into various areas that are somewhat affiliated with art, namely archeology, architecture and (art)history. Through my photo works and the installation I created, I intend to share a visual story with the audience and find a way in which viewers of the work may appropriate the story and add to it by mobilizing their own perceptions. My reflections on the quality and characteristics of place took me to the classical houses found in Pompeii and the ancient tombs of Rome and Cerveteri. The connection between these spatial manifestations of life and death as two extremes is essential to me. My historical research made me aware that as an artist I am part of long tradition indeed. As such the artistic sightline cuts across the historical sightline in this work, to which I also added a more personal, autobiographical sightline as a third meaningful dimension.



Photos of the exhibition ‘The Once and Future House’ installed in the Old University Library, Leiden, 13 September – 13 December 2013. The exhibition presented a selection of work by Krien Clevis produced within the framework of her PhD research project.