news / Research

tonglen (from the opaque)

I  first met domenico de clario in Bendigo (2012).  I volunteered to assist him at Latrobe Visual Arts Centre and as I helped unpack some of his boxes we discussed the unfolding nature of his work and archives. Later, in further contact and conversation, he mentioned his concepts around the burial of personal objects and I was captivated with the idea of interring mementos. I have often been drawn to artworks or concepts which explore relationships around the memento, the archive and the remnants of life. So I was keen to make the journey to Mildura to attend this event, to experience first hand the burial site and the unfolding experiences of Tonglen(from the opaque).

I found the experience of the ‘Tonglen (from the opaque)’ event quite transformative, it stirred quite a lot of  thoughts around my own experiences of grief, family and loss. Unfortunately, at present, my words lack the depth to convey this adequately.

There such a poetic exploration within this work which is written of so eloquently by domenico. His writing is as rich as the themes and textures of his work and the experience of his events. So I hesitate to write any more and would rather show my documentation of the event and share some further links to his other work. (please scroll down below images)

Invitation: tonglen* (from the opaque)

domenico de clario
with david palliser / juana beltran / ren walters

from 5.34 pm june 20 (moonrise/sunset) until 7.37 am june 21 2016 (moonset/ sunrise)

540 morpung avenue
(entry and parking via 73 coorong avenue irymple)

Since May 11 this year I have been ritually interring the entirety of my 40-year archive (including two cars, various collections of furniture, clothing and sundry objects) in a 20x8x3 metre burial chamber carved from the red desert soil of a private 8-acre garden located in Irymple, a village on the outskirts of Mildura in northwestern Victoria.

On the evening of the 20th of June, at the conjunction of the full moon and the southern hemisphere’s winter solstice, an all-night vigil acknowledging both this unique celestial conjunction and my project will be held alongside the burial site.

Eventually, when the ritual placing of each object inside the burial chamber is completed, the gathered collections will be covered by the excavated soil and an elevated mound will be shaped over the top.

Seven trees will be planted atop the mound’s apex; a cypress, an olive, a fig, a lemon, a vine, an almond and a Casuarina pine.

A spectrum of seven solar-powered lights, each corresponding both to one of the plantings as well as to a chakra colour will then be installed at the base of each trunk, indicating that the collected body lying under the earth is still, even if at rest, continuing to function harmonically.

Throughout the burial I have been singing all the songs I know.

From sunset on the 20th of June until sunrise the following morning I will join with David Palliser, Ren Walters and Juana Beltran in presenting a series of improvised sounds and actions to a gathering of friends, in response to the conjunction of solstice, full moon and burial.

Singing, then, sound-making and body action offered as an expression of being, not doing; such being practiced as mindful search for the moment when blindness becomes sightedness.

Domenico de Clario

Mildura – June 2016

Surrounding Works

‘walking downhill slowly’ blog:

Walking slowly downhill (sleep, the gorgeous nothings, seven as the reasoning of numbers and the beginner’s song)
Domenico de Clario
[MARS] Gallery
7 September – 4 October 2015.