Press and Critics
A Study on the Uncanny
‘The Memory Passage’ is a multichannel installation piece that juxtaposes image, sound and sculpture to capture the essence of familial memories of genocide. Memories that came from 100 years back, resulting of a nationalist movement that ended in people getting chased out of their country. How can one speak of a past that was not personally experienced? Ioannis Panagiotou and Dorothea Kalogianni experimented with this question through combining ephemeral media and concrete; three projectors, screening on concrete locks enlighten the viewer about the non-experience Descriptions that entail blood, fire and dirt are censored inn the form of a clean, digitally conjured text. Digitally transmitted fantasies of pain conjure a sense of danger.
The music, composed by Ioannis Panagiotou, conducted by Yati Durant and André Bellmont, performed by 25 musicians and combined with electronic sounds, creates a nightmarish discomfort; A warning for a disaster that has already taken place. In the back of the room, on the eye-level of the viewer, sequences of the urban landscape are being screened upon the wall. Between the gigantic structures, an (almost) unnoticeable figure lurks. The intense brutality of the combined video, story and music is only alleviated when the previously unnoticeable figure throughs a smoke-bomb into the water. Simultaneously, smoke starts to emerge within the room… gradually disappearing, like smoke-signals from a past that keeps on attempting immortality. In this complicated piece, Ioannis and Dorothea narrate the sense of horror that any narrative of a tainted ancestral past can carry. ‘The Memory Passage’ is a study on the uncanny proximity between the real and the imagined, in a time that sees memories as access points to a sense of continuity. While the ambience of the experience is disorienting, it does not diminish the power of transmitted memory; a power that has lived on for 98 years in this instance, following subconscious roads and finally emerging as phantasm. As personal as the narrative might be, at a time of political upheaval, the power of communicated sentiment serves as a concrete message. Wanda Irini Goudas - Art Writer