Involuntary Memory (2015)

Involuntary Memory was an intimate performance for one audience member at a time that attempted to translate Roland Barthes’ search for the essence of his mother in a photograph into a sensualised performance image. The performance presented text from his 1980 book Camera Lucida on hand written index cards alongside family photographs of my own mother. The audience were invited to sit at a desk to study these objects, while in the distance, I lay naked in a pool of milk attempting a sort of ritualised corpse impression. The space was very dark and lit by brief flashes of a 35mm slide projector, which was advanced by me biting down on the projector remote. The audience were given a 30-minute slot but were invited to stay for as little or as long of that slot as they wished.

The piece was performed in the Performance Studio of the University of Glasgow in May 2015 as part of my practice-research PhD: Affective Intentionalities: Practising Performance with Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida

Below is an edited video document of the performance (re-performed for camera in April 2018).

video password: memory