At last we reach a port, having toiled through monstrosities of architectural mirage. Our hosts have wondered with us through many pathways, for the virtual entanglement we suffer can also ironically benefit our pursuit of reality.
Once here, we plant our feet in the earth, like the roots of sanguine trees. We cannot escape the physicality of this place, and soon materials, fabrics, tools become grafted to our bodies. To walk is to make, to talk is to place. Matter demands to be fashioned. Skype and 3dmax go out of the window replaced by d.i.y mode and field trips. We begin to construct according to our new understanding of space, expansive, oceanic, covered in forests and inhabited by all manners of birds, the sky now larger than any sky scrapper, invites the mind of the flâneurs to ponder on the nature of the infinite fused with the chaos of physis. Here, the balance of opposites has changed. Apparent order is critically challenged by natural priorities. The city is suspended between body and soul, an attempt to sustain the dream of human domination over the elements while admitting defeat. We dis-urbanise ourselves, joining another tribe in our mission. We throw bottles in the waves, we make fires on the beach, we carve the feelings of our encounters. This was the end of a world before galleons were sent to seek other shores beyond the horizon.

Mnemonic City: Lisbon will take place in September 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal. More information about this project here.

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Someone warned us…this city is no longer real. What could they mean? Walls are still standing that once were touched by the hands of Raphael, Dante Alighieri, Masaccio, the Medici, Petrarch, Pierro della Francesca…Giotto, and as we imagine this, our small cortege is swamped by perfumed gushes of tourists ignoring the beauty of the past, yet, beauty is here, fully present, almost assailing us, impossible to escape, and the digital eye of the entertainment industry ensures its cyber immortalisation thus rendering it obsolete and groundless. But what lies, beyond those alluring appearances, is a world of vagrancy and misery, a world trodden by rejected immigrants, misfits, homeless addicts, the destitute, and the imprint of their wreckage. We are taken on a journey along the Arno River, and our guide, a Florentine, points to the trace of a common urban illness. We lose all sense of time and place, although this monument of art history reminds us we must pay to admire her treasures and artists are no longer welcome, save for the preservation of an illusion, and the safeguard of a stagnant institution. Yet, we absorb the mythology of a dying goddess, and soon, images and sculptures emerge from the catastrophe of Beautiful Banality to reclaim and resurrect her inner sanctuaries.

Mnemonic City: Florence (27 – 30 June 2014)

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How can we find ourselves in the city of loss? Once fallen in the belly of the technocratic mastodon, we observe her dragging flayed victims in her wake, like a ghost ship in Plato’s Cave, those displaced and deformed remains of communities, those ravaged archaeological shores left to degenerate in the midst of megalomaniac enterprise. Yet we persevere, following a trail through Moving Streets, sending each other signs in the guise of a game, our rules intertwined with those of an archaic order. Here, being off the board, ‘ex-urban’, is tantamount to oblivion. We walk across lines and decipher the temple’s riddles, we defy the spectres that haunt the disappearing wilderness of the East, the Inter-Scape, we penetrate the mystery of the square, in an act of ‘mnemonemesis’ from the margins of the mile, in the belly of the beast, we exchange testimonies, we gather evidence as forgotten layers of history attach themselves to our soles like the skins of an ancient serpent, still hidden, waiting in the ancestral tower of the great concrete mother, the Barbican guarded by the shadow of a dragon. We the pedestrian artists return to the panoptic labyrinth, not with an answer but with a question, in the form of objects. These we drop behind us, new coincidental points on the parallel map of experience, to be found by other wanderers.


Barbican (preperations ongoing)
Inter-Scape (21 – 29 September 2013)
Moving Streets (26/27 April 2013)
Plato’s Cave (21/22 September 2012)

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There is no political manifesto but a political will exists from the moment a group of individuals gathers in the name of freedom, a resistance to any form of oppression, be it so mundane people are no longer aware it is part of their existence. Kronos has trodden the streets and walls of this city under foot and fires still rage in the hearts of those who bite the dust. Goya’s black paintings and Bosch’s Inferno infiltrate the back alleys, the caves, they possess the clandestine and the alienated, and we arrive unexpected, thrown into a minute space to open the voice box of a collective unrest. It all happens in the encounter the nature of which oscillates between discourse, pantomime and protest. This is about story telling, about reversing destinies, about the barricade and the banners, about people talking back, taking a stand, allowing themselves to create a different kind of history. The poets rise in the smoky evening, the lanterns light up the ceiling covered in paintings, an artist approaches someone in the audience, there is a frisson in the air, a connection, a flash, taking the flame from a tired monarch, Prometheus spreads the word of art.


Mnemonic City: Madrid (3/4 November 2012)

© by Mnemonic City, all rights reserved