Perception of memory through art at Pleasure Dome

Image of a man in thought
Memory palace is a technique in which you go through a mental journey for information.  Courtesy Melanie Simon/Pixabay

If you’ve found that the film or art you view is easily forgettable, Pleasure Dome’s Welcome to the Memory Palace put on a film event where all the pieces revolve around memory.

Pleasure Dome, an artist-run presentation organization and publication dedicated to experimental media, is holding the event over the next week and a half.

A “memory palace” is a strategy for memory enhancement in which one visualizes moving through a familiar space and associate pieces of information with objects or settings.

“It reminds me of the most memorable dreams I tend to have, which take place in buildings I’ve lived or currently live in, but within the dream they are transformed,” Clare Samuel said in her curatorial statement about the project.

The films deal with aspects of identity and memory “through the architectures of sleep, visual technologies, domestic and national homes, and the natural and virtual world.”

Hesam Rahmani directed Faces Without Visage, which looks at dealing with dementia through a father son dynamic. He writes in prose about his father’s growing dementia and has visuals of his family accompanying his words.

Rahmani also writes in the perspective of his father dealing with this disease and the erasure of his family’s memory.

Another was Memory Room 451, which is the work of British artist John Akomfrah and produced with the Black Audio Film Collective. This film looks through the eyes of a time traveller who goes back to speak to “old earth people” about their experiences of exodus.

Time travel is exploitative in this dystopia, and dreams have become commodified for entertainment. The interviews with the “old earth people” brings up questions of memory, appropriation, and history.

Faces Without Visage and Memory Room 451 are just two of the eight films at the Memory Palace event, each with their own meaning, message, and style.

The Welcome to the Memory Palace program is running from Feb. 17 to 24 on a pay-what-you-can-basis. It will be hosting a Q&A over Zoom on the final day at 7 p.m. The zoom link can be found on its website.

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Posted: Feb 18 2021 3:43 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life News