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Walking With The Disappeared

Walking With The Disappeared

This project traces the contours of the complex set of public and private acts of memory. Memory and identity combine in a dialectical interaction between history and the contemporary, between the individual and the future. In Memory, History, Forgetting, the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) describes the active searching for the recollections as an exercise of memory. He highlights the reflexive character of memory; in remembering something, one simultaneous- ly reminds oneself. Paul Ricoeur argues that the quest for historical truth is an implicit aspect of remembering. The search for memories implies a desire to be true to the past.

In this performance, Sichong Xie is trying to examine a communicating progress between three people (her grandfather, her grandmother and herself) and two generations through a long distance relation- ship, by means of which she establishes new connec- tions between people and places; it is a form of “exer- cising” memory, which in turn produces new identities. She’s trying to recreate a particular donkey illustration her grandfather drew-“Ghost Donkey”, representing the Chinese government. 

During the Cultural Revolution her grand- father was punished for such a drawing. This illustration was destroyed during that time by the Chinese government. Based on her grandmother’s description, Xie slipped into the hand of her grandfather, and she draws this drawing as if starting this impossible conversation between her grandparents. How could they holding two impos- sible conversations at once? Could these be the past and future? They dealing with same strug- gling and trying to experience the similar drawing actions, but the experience will never appear exactly the same. Is it be-coming or de-coming? Geographical locations, and people past and present, are the elements of a framework within which new memories and personal identities emerge. As Sicilian storytellers say: ‘Time takes no time in a story’. Time, then, as tool and material. 

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DSC_4632.JPG

Walking With The Disappeared

This project traces the contours of the complex set of public and private acts of memory. Memory and identity combine in a dialectical interaction between history and the contemporary, between the individual and the future. In Memory, History, Forgetting, the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) describes the active searching for the recollections as an exercise of memory. He highlights the reflexive character of memory; in remembering something, one simultaneous- ly reminds oneself. Paul Ricoeur argues that the quest for historical truth is an implicit aspect of remembering. The search for memories implies a desire to be true to the past.

In this performance, Sichong Xie is trying to examine a communicating progress between three people (her grandfather, her grandmother and herself) and two generations through a long distance relation- ship, by means of which she establishes new connec- tions between people and places; it is a form of “exer- cising” memory, which in turn produces new identities. She’s trying to recreate a particular donkey illustration her grandfather drew-“Ghost Donkey”, representing the Chinese government. 

During the Cultural Revolution her grand- father was punished for such a drawing. This illustration was destroyed during that time by the Chinese government. Based on her grandmother’s description, Xie slipped into the hand of her grandfather, and she draws this drawing as if starting this impossible conversation between her grandparents. How could they holding two impos- sible conversations at once? Could these be the past and future? They dealing with same strug- gling and trying to experience the similar drawing actions, but the experience will never appear exactly the same. Is it be-coming or de-coming? Geographical locations, and people past and present, are the elements of a framework within which new memories and personal identities emerge. As Sicilian storytellers say: ‘Time takes no time in a story’. Time, then, as tool and material. 

Walking With The Disappeared
DSC_4642.JPG
DSC_4632.JPG