Memorandum performance is a dance of body and shadow, the tangible and the intangible.
Memorandum is about memory and oblivion, the real and the fictitious. One man, one woman, one maker, a crowd, their shadows, the space they move, they become a memory device and a mechanism of reminder. Pictures and sounds come alive, talking and moving, the past and the present mixed on stage, while a journey in the recent past starts to unfold. The idea of the project was triggered when I run into a large authentic collection of archival historical photos that made me feel historically groundless living under the ‘Memorandum’ era. These days in Greece, memorandum has become a word associated with the strict economic measures enacted in order to overcome the crisis. Ironically however, memorandum is a Latin word that literally means “what to remember” and by extension is any instrument that helps the memory by recording events on a given topic that must not be forgotten. In this time of crisis, which for me is a crisis of values, this made me think of Memorandum as being a mechanism of reminder for all these in recent history that we shouldn’t forget. So what are the events we should not erase from our collective memory? Looking back to the past is a way to observe human potentialities, disoriented naive beliefs, fanatic actions and reactions that result to destructive social impacts. The project aims to explore the confusion between existing and past, collective and personal, real and fictional memories that form the present. It aims to raise questions, trigger associations and emotions, which impel the individual to rethink responsibility. This process means not only to think of the past and the present but also to envision a better future. The materials we use in this project are mostly photographs. Testimonies, sounds, documents and videos of different eras are also part of it and all together are used to take us through a journey in time so as to help us shed light on the past and to reflect on the present. Some of the questions raised are: -How do you bring life in a still image?-How do you give voice to a dead document? -How do you recall the experience of a moment past? Holding a photograph of something or someone “that has been” (Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on photography, 1981), something like a fragment or a shadow, is like going against forgetting which seems to be our common destiny. To look back at history and its shadows is like a puzzle, which can never be completed as there are always missing parts. However, let’s try it! Crossing the boundaries between visual arts, dance and theater, memorandum is a mixed media performance function as a critical response to how WE treat our historical memories and past testimonies.
Projection, VJ-Software, Set-space-spatial Design, Light and Movement comprise the various media of the performance. They serve as means of mediating between today’s viewers and history.
Concept and Creation: Tzeni Argyriou
Performers: Miguel Pereira, Soledad Zarka, Simon Rummel and audience-
Visual Installation: Vasilis Gerodimou
Music: Giannis Aggelakas, Nikos Veliotis, Coti K
Dramaturgy: Sotirios Bahtsetzis
Director Assistant and VJ artist: Thomas Fourneau
Technical Director: Antonis Nikiforos
Mechanics’ Design: Alexis Chatzialexiou
Photography: Lila Sotiriou
Consultants: Christiana Galanopoulou, Katerina Evangelakou
Coproduction : Théâtre des Bernardines, O Espaço do Tempo, tanzhaus nrw, Marseille-Provence 2013 – Capitale Européenne de la Culture, Festival Fillipon, Kavala, Greece andNaxos Festival, Greece.
With the support of
Institut françaisConseil Régional
PACA EHESS Paris (Labex) and Institut francais de Grece
A strong impetus to develop the project was offered by TRY ANGLE – Performing Arts Research Laboratories