Live performances – Venice

Memory Theatre at Grand Canal / Palazzo Bembo, Riva del Carbon Venice, May 2019

Kirwan attempts to measure and empty the Venetian canals with her buckets. This is the first time she performs for a live audience in Venice, scheduled according to the local tide tables. Kirwan explores the metaphorical performance of memory through her futile, absurd performances, endlessly repeated. The sensorimotor/ haptic connections between her body, the land and the elements serve also as metaphors for way-finding and navigation through the confusion and fog of loss and bereavement. She is interested in the question of what is memory and how might it function and be visually represented.

Kirwan’s first absurd experiments with measuring and attempts to empty the sea were filmed on a seashore in Kent, UK during 2015. This footage, together with performances of other futile tasks in Morocco, and Ireland were edited to create her two-channel video Memory Theatre (2017). She has also performed for live audiences e.g. on the beach in Folkestone, UK, during the Folkestone Triennial Fringe.

Memory Theatre became the second in a trilogy of videos all inaugurated during the 56th, 57th and 58th Venice Biennales respectively: Fragment and Trace (2015), Memory Theatre (2017), and perpetuum mobile (2019). perpetuum mobile, an immersive three-screen video installation including Kirwan’s performances in the ancient cedar forests of Lebanon and on the Ustyurt plateau and Aral Sea regions of Uzbekistan is currently on show in Venice at the European Cultural Centre, Palazzo Bembo, First Floor, Riva del Carbon 4793, 30124 Venice; open every day except Thursdays: 11.05.19 – 24.11.19.

Live performance-experiments of Memory Theatre with composer Tom Lane at Palazzo Tiepolo Passi, Calle Centani, San Polo 2774, Venice, 24 October