“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards”

Whilst updating my Proposal and thinking about how the process of writing my Research Paper will impact on my practice, I started to consider working on the following  themes. I’ll do this when I have  completed  work at the Edgehill battlefield site/ MOD Kineton:

  • A project on Crouch Hill based around the Trig Point-as a location it has layers of history and geographical and community significance. Also it is physically close to my home, a shortish walk, making it a practical place for me to work. I would also be able to enlist the help of friends with carrying equipment and other technical help. This would be less possible with other more distant locations.
  • I would base it around a live stream with some interaction on the site and possibly some live news feed or images added later.
  • I’d use performative action and performative writing in some way during the Live stream and interaction
  • I’m also interested in the literary concept of Portmanteau words, as below, and using the concept in a performative way.

I’ve been looking at the work of Belgian artist JOHAN GRIMONPREZ, who’s film montage work  Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y  a fake documentary about a hi-jacking was made in 1997 and seems to be  almost a premonition of 9-11.

There’s clip of it here

Grimonprez work acknowledges unseen events which can’t  be documented  and so  the potential impossibility of documenting any historical fact. His  first large-scale retroperspective of Grimonprez in  Belgium was  “It’s a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards”.

I found the title fascinating as I recognised it as a quote from Alice through the Looking Glass. and know that Lewis Carroll’s Alice Works examine the themes of Space/ Time and Fact/ Fiction. She tells the White Queen that “I can’t remember things before they have happened” , and that is the Queen’s reply.

Unknown-8Whilst re- reading some of Through the Looking Glass and researching a little about Lewis Carroll , I became aware of his use of Portmanteau words like “slithe”  meaning lithe and slimy.  They are words which linguistically  blend or fuse words, parts of multiple words, or their phones (sounds), and their meanings  to  combine them into a new word-  so smog is a blend of smoke and fog.

 I really like this idea of fusion of ideas and ending up with something which is ‘nonsensical’ but  means something new.

Somehow, I’d like to use this idea in some performative way especially as it links with Carroll’s ideas of time and space and simultaneity and also is referenced by Jung when discussing Synchronicity and meaningful co-incidences (Tarnas, Richard (2006). Cosmos and Psyche. New York: Penguin Group. p. 50. ISBN 0-670-03292-1.) Most appropriate for my proposed work.


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