This collaboration happened in a week. Concept, creation and performance. A reflection on memory – of the space between time, reality and the imagined. The body as a transport device, an archive. The text below is part of the artwork. formed collectively, with each of out thoughts and experiences weaved inside. The tattoo, which now exists permanently on Vincents body, is a physical manifestation of the things we choose to remember. The art piece can never exist again as a whole, experienced only once by an intimate audience at Nafasi Art Space on the 5th of December 2019.
THEY GOT LOST SOMEWHERE – THE THEORY
Remembrance as a cognitive performance is a dynamic process of reconfiguration. As a central part of our cognitive processes, remembrance varies in form and practice. Besides written and oral language, visual images or artifacts, the human body could serve as a visualization and mnemonic reminder as it is an integral part of a collective historic remembrance process. As it functions as a mnemonic reminder for the self, the body activates memories.
When we talk about memory, we talk about a dynamic social process of recuperation, reconfiguration and sometimes plain invention. Memory is never passive, the mind is not simply a repository from which we can retrieve memories, these processes are often provoked and promoted by visual images.
In other words, memory is a cultural construction varying from one society to the next.
While remembrance is always a creative re-construction of memory and a “proof” of past truths, history is always an incomplete reconstruction of what is no longer, a representation of the past.
Memory can never be a universally shared property, because the reflection of memories differs when exploring various cultures, societies, local cosmologies and values. The experienced past plays a significant role, not as a historical fact, rather as an outline that represents a whole – an impression of value as a result of the purpose of remembering shaping group identity and political legitimacy in the present.
Memory is an active agent of the present. While history is always linked to time, memory is acronical. In opposition to pure reproduction, it’s a construction, transaction and negotiation with the self situated in the past and the present.
The process of remembrance is shaped by the relaying of visual information, based on how visual and related forms of expression culture are used to re-create memory in the present through politics of re-presentation and image-ination.
Conveyed to the self, the lived body is the place where space and memory is actively joined together. When memory always lies on the border between the self and other, the body serves as a sieve through which social and historical experiences are negotiated as our bodies represent difference and sameness in one.
This interdisciplinary performance embodies and explores the themes around memory, remembering and imagination. Taking into consideration the mental barriers and interpretations of image, sound, and text in how we store and revisit information.
Body marks, like tattoos, inscribed into the skin encode memory about a person’s place in society and history.
Through the inscription of shared memory the body’s surface becomes a vessel of remembrance and at the same time a trigger for re-interpretation. The past is perpetually refined through the embodiment of memory, lived and enacted in the present.
The self is created by its reactions to memory. The narratives we create and share through what we choose to include in the stories of our pasts. These stories continuously evolve as they pass through the hands (and memory) of others.
Who are you today and how will you remember yourself tomorrow? What happens to all the rememberings that get lost somewhere between the subconscious and surreal? Can the self exist without a past – without someone to remember them.
Music by Lukasopp