Mnemonic City: Plato’s Cave

Mnemonic City is exploring the idea of the city as a receptacle, taking inspiration from Plato’s Myth of the Cave. The allegory explores the relation of humankind with its environment, questioning what is real and what appearance is. The theme explores notion of identity, fragmentation and the idea of shadow. The exhibition is divided into two parts: The main body of the show consists of physical artworks, ranging from paintings, over sculptures to videos and installations. This is supported by a number of experimental performances, which thematically link to the main exhibition and take place around the artworks of the show.

The nature of the performances is intricately linked to this conjunction of natures by which disparate physical and emotional organized elements construct an image, a common space which becomes an internal metropolis of sensations, a ‘Mnemopolis’, city of remembrance, where ‘anasubstantial’ interconnections take form, and language turns back into a primordial sign. This points to the potential/virtual body, or what Deleuze and Guattari call “Phase Space”; in this instance, the result of an organic communion of ideas and their ramified manifestations among the performers whose devices interact electrically and electronically during the show. From the concept of the city, the exhibition moves to the concept of the cave and in doing so triggers a descent into the cave of our latent mind.

As the cave is explored, this opens to show the dark motions of the mind traversing territories of ancestral memory having embarked on the ghost ship of mythology. The character of the environment thus reflects the development of the rapport established between the phenomenological process taking place ‘on stage’ and the perceptual response of the members of the public ‘off-stage’ in which these very ‘on/off’ dividing rules become interchangeable and indistinguishable.

The show’s own artistic evolution defies Plato’s argument, since the work at hand affords the audience a form of knowledge through sensation rather than through the exposition of form as an idea to be unraveled by the intellect. The electrified chamber, the performers engineer, shows us how the cave can transmute into a lake, the retina of an interior gaze remembering a history in the making.


Mnemonic City: Plato’s Cave was on show at Doomed Gallery in Dalston, London, on the 21/22 of September 2012. Participating artists where¬† Amos Shein, Anna Burel, Ines von Bonhorst, Jaime Valtierra, Max Max, Pascal Ancel Bartholdi, Rupert Jaeger and Yuri Pirondi.

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