chapter  15
8 Pages

Fragments

Fragments tremble at the threshold between wholeness and partialness; the fragment engages the mind in imaginative reconstruction. Of ruins, which are a species of fragment, Tim Edensor writes how they ‘function like Rubin’s vase/pro le illusion, allowing the viewer to see the intact object and its disappearance at the same time’ (Steinmetz, 2008, p.232). This liminal manifestation, lurking within a space of inde nability, lends fragments an aesthetic of fragility. Fragments exist not only at a spatial threshold, but also temporally. Delicate, yet persisting in time and space, fragments, ruins, as pieces of a whole, are suspended within the ambivalence of melancholy. As George Steinmetz observed in German Namibians’ apprehension of the ruins of their country, ‘The ruins’ intermediate location between culture and nature resonates with melancholia, which is analogously poised between life and death’ (Steinmetz, 2008, p.232).