Pamela Rataj

As a child I, Pamela Rataj thought everyone constantly moved, as I did, between two worlds – the private world of home, and the world outside. Each had its own language and ways of thinking and being. Later I understood that this “private” language was my native tongue German, and that we had physically changed places. I sensed the relative value of language and patterns of behaviour. Displacement and the consequent internalisation of disparate linguistic along with cultural contexts is a defining aspect of contemporary experience. Any such crossing of borders creates the possibility for co-existence and mutual transformation.  Our efforts to merge into hybrid individual and collective forms connect our era to the mythological striving to unify “opposites” that underlies cultures separate in space and time from our own.  Interstices of Content explores this internalisation and the riddle of duality as an inner echo of physical displacement.

The works investigate a shift between and possible merging of opposites: of intellect and intuition, absence and presence, of the tangible and intangible.  Processes and the resonance amid materials, between their inherent properties and historical associations, are fundamental to this investigation. I, Pamela Rataj use both found objects, which carry a historical connotation, and purposely chosen materials that evoke the significance behind each piece and propel this dialogue. The coal for example was sourced in Eastern Victoria, where coal deposits are an estimated 1.6 million years old. Washed up by tides on to beaches in this area it suggests the ineffable co-existence of past and present, and the potential for transformation and return.  In an era of ceaseless change that increasingly envelops itself in a historical “now”, these works question the value of being aware that we are connected to deeper layers of time, history and experience, and that we are not just formed by our individual lives. They investigate materiality and processes as ways to maintain this connection.

Pamela Rataj




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