An artificial choreography is generated by stringing together and repeating 25 still images. A rhythm is formed by modules of natural and artificial sounds (water drops and the clatter of a machine). A whispering voice recites “The Burial of the Dead” from the poem “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot.
In the left part of the screen is a static image that at first glance resembles a sacred motif, perhaps an altar of some sort. In fact, it is a table with a bird’s nest in the light of a neon lamp. In it lie small bird skeletons.
Memento… Boltanski! ” is a vanitas dance on the futility of life.
The basis of this work are photographs in long exposure taken during a dance rehearsal. Since the order of the photos was rearranged by me, the resulting “dance” has nothing to do with the original choreography. On the acoustic level I proceeded in a similar way: from water dripping and machine noises I selected single elements and put them together to a rhythm.
All sounds were produced and edited by myself, exclusively for this work.
Dancer: Dominik Feistmantl
Visually, noise is still familiar to us from the cathode ray tube televisions that are hardly used any more today, as a grey field with fine, moving grain. Even the storage process of sensory experiences in the human brain is subject to various areas of interference, and recall even more so. The success of remembering depends on the physical or mental condition (tiredness, illness, state of intoxication…), or it depends on which aspect of the memory is important at the moment (prioritisation), and it depends on how this information is interpreted. Because of the instinct of self-preservation, the brain is in fact (unconsciously) able to reproduce memory in the way that is useful to us at that specific moment.
The visualisation of the memory process therefore presents itself to me as a grey electrostatic interference field from which images appear and disappear again. Sometimes these images are not very clear, so the room for interpretation is very wide. Sometimes it is helpful to take a step back to look at what is presented from a certain distance.