Mnemosyne Space


indeterminate length—intermedia performance installation—2004, rev. 2005, 2007
created as part of the intermission interarts collective
presented in Victoria, Canada; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Puebla, Mexico.

Mnemosyne Space is an interactive performance installation that explores themes of fragmented memory (Mnemosyne is the goddess of memory and inventress of language). It uses Henri Pousseur’s composition “Menemosyne I” written in 1968 for voice and unspecified instruments, and Friedrich Hölderlin’s poem written in 1802 (upon which Pousseur’s composition is based) as its source materials. Hölderlin experimented with poetic forms consisting of fragments and unreadable palimpsests.

Structurally, the installation articulates two spaces: the first, a large paper box used as a space for music performance, and second, an area surrounding the box filled with numerous paper banners featuring faintly printed text taken from the Hölderlin poem Mnemosyne.

Each time an audience member enters the paper box, one of the musicians exits and does not return until the audience member exits. The result is a fragmented and mobile presentation of the musical material, always crumbling apart and restructuring itself.

Presented in Puebla, Mexico, Victoria, BC, and St. Petersburg, Russia. with performances given by Anna Höstman, Nicole Anaka, David Cecchetto, Dylan Robinson, Cathy Fern Lewis, and William Brent.