“Memory Work”, Merete Røstad.
MEMORY WORK comes out of a research collaboration at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHIO) between the departments of Dance and Art & Craft. The project involves an international group of artist-researchers, including research fellows at KHIO, as core members.
Merete Røstad and Per Roar initiated MEMORY WORK in collaboration with Sasa Asentic (Serbia / Germany), Manuel Pelmus (Romania), Eliot Moleba (South Africa), Solveig Styve Holte (Norway), Nayria Castillo (Venezuela / Austria), Ingri Fiksdal (Norway), Xavier Le Roy (France / Germany) and Myna Trustram (United Kingdom). The project is supported by a group of experts who will thematically contribute the critical discourse and the quality of dissemination. They include Boris Boden (Public Art and New Artistic Strategies, Bauhaus University, Weimar); Nitin Sawhney (Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, Helsinki) and many others.
Dr Per Roar, choreographer-researcher, performer, professor and head of the MA programme in choreography, Oslo National Academy of the Arts
Dr. Boris Buden, philosopher, professor at Fakultät Kunst und Gestaltung, Bauhaus University, Weimar
Dr. Merete Røstad, interdisciplinaryartist, Associate professor and Head of the MFA Art and Public Space, Oslo National Academy of the Arts
Dr. Nitin Sawhney, Professor of Practice, Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, Helsinki
Eliot Moleba, Research fellow at the Theatre academy, Oslo National Academy of the Arts
Nayria Castillo, artist and artist-researcher at Institute for Urbanism at Graz University of Technology (TU).
Saša Asentić, performing artist and artistic leader of PerArt (Berlin/Novi Sad)
Solveig Styve Holte, Research fellow in choreography, Oslo National Academy of the Arts
Keywords: Choreography, Memory, Performative, Public Art, Public Sphere, Remembrance.
MEMORY WORK is an interdisciplinary artistic research enquiry into the politics of remembrance and representation. It explores states of performative flux in which multiple temporalities, past, present and future, are entangled and coexist. Through probing into gaps or blind spots or unmarked wounds that affect us in the present (Phelan 1993), we artistically search for distinct ways to account for people’s location in history (Davis 2010: 149). We start from a critical research position that asks:
Whose stories are heard, retold, and given attention? What are we doing with our agency and privilege to perform? What are reiterated and repurposed performatively through our artistic work?
Our artistic concerns lie in the intangible structures that shape the way we perceive and remember the past and hence understand the world around us. The questioning is urgent both for the arts and society at large.
Our performative art practices share with politics the entangled relationships between power and agency as they both become manifest through public representation (Franko 2006). As W. Benjamin argues, similar entanglements form our understanding of history: By capturing fleeting fragments of the past, we reimagine and narrate our history that shapes the future (Benjamin 1968). MEMORY WORK is preoccupied with this potential: the ways to reactivate and re-contextualize memory in public spheres.