August 15, 2006

Place sense and the performance of memory

In collaboration with Léa Neumark-Gaudet

Sponsored by Mountain Standard Time Performance Art Festival and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.

Not long after an arsonist destroyed our Montreal home I was encouraged to visit friends in Lethbridge. The connection to this unique geography was reinforced for me and experienced for the first time by my daughter Léa, then 5 years old. This performance, ten years after the initial trip, retraced Léa's journey into the singular landscape of Southern Alberta.

Place sense and the performance of memory is an exploration of the ways that childhood experience influences our world-view and an inquiry into how a sense of place is recalled in and through memory. I've been concerned with questions of repetition and the consideration of reliving memory not as (or from a place of) loss, lack, and nostalgia, but as an intuitive, generative, and conceptual creation of fresh configurations of being. Live Art interventions such as this one, framed as they are as Art can teach us, with the use of symbolic language and imaginative playfulness, to bring flexibility to our memories. This is both personally and culturally significant. With the authority of memory being such an integral element in revealing (to ourselves and to others) who we are and what we value, this transformative process is powerfully healing.