Memory theatre

I was dying. That much was certain. The rest is fiction. 1

Memory Theatre, a two-channel video with sound by award-winning Dublin based composer Tom Lane, is the second chapter in a trilogy of work exploring mourning and memory.

Again, Kirwan presents a montage of filmed performances undertaken in remote outdoor locations such as the Burren and Connemara Ireland, the seashores of Kent, UK and the deserts of Mergouza, Morocco.  She continues to carry out seemingly endless repetitions of absurd and futile activities such as attempting to measure the sea with buckets, counting stones on a vast shingle beach, and grains of sand.  Kirwan’s intuitive connection with the soil and sea, conjures up an intensity of grief; the contact between the body and environment, the sensorimotor/ haptic elements of Kirwan’s performative encounters serve also as a metaphor for endless searching; as if feeling her way through the bewilderment of bereavement.

Memory Theatre was unveiled as a two-screen video projection at the group exhibition, ‘Personal Structures – Crossing Borders’, European Cultural Centre, 57th Venice Biennale, 2017. It has been screened at the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne (2017), Folkestone Triennial Fringe (2017) and Close-Up Cinema London (2018). In 2019 it will be shown as a two-screen installation in the forthcoming 8th.Festival Internacional De Videoarte De Camagüey, Cuba.

Memory Theatre has also been a situation for interactive, live performances, improvised sound and multi-channel video installations. During the Folkestone Triennial fringe, Kent, UK, 2017, Kirwan ‘measured the sea’ with her buckets on the beach.  In 2018 at the Space Arts Centre, London she created a live performance-installation-experiment comprising a seven-screen video installation with simultaneous live performances by both artist and composer, Tom Lane.