Remember Me is a miniature installation created by Helen Newall, with sound by Karen Lauke, and hosted in an old suitcase, designed for an audience-of-one. It comprises: digital animations of original photographs projected into the suitcase opened as a book-flat; a Victorian photograph album, a page of which is the main screen; a scale model of a trench; and a scrim to achieve 3D projection. The audience-of-one watches twelve minutes of images and text projected onto the screens by pico-projectors; an accompanying soundtrack is delivered via headphones for an immersive experience. It has been shown to date in Chester, Liverpool, Ormskirk and Formby.
Remember Me is an artistic investigation of the fragmentation of cultural memory, identity in absence and presence, and World War One commemoration: the names of those depicted are now separated from those who could once name them. These soldiers have gradually joined the ranks of a new kind of Missing. This process is historical but concerns us: we may photograph to remember people and capture life moments, but this installation defamiliarises and interrogates photographs as sites of memory, documentation and stillness, and imbues its photographic subjects with a brief, uncanny re-existence thereby foregrounding their fading narratives and identities. Its research imperative also included an investigation into the scenography of miniature low-tech immersive installation, and how to achieve low tech 3D projection.
Research questions include:
- How might old photography be re-presented to contemporary audiences as more than vintage objects in such a way that re-subjectifies them?
- How might still (and animated) photography be used in performance art installation to commemorate?
- In what ways can commemoration occur in the scenographic synthesis of found objects?
Complementary writing, and a 10 minute ‘making of’ video are available.
Some audience responses:
‘… an incredible experience…’
‘…beautiful treatment of old photographs…’
‘The notion of an old photograph coming to life and becoming a real person is poignant…’
‘Made me cry…’
‘Beautifully fitting tribute to a lost generation.’
‘…images that disappear of people who left…’
‘A poignant look at those lives lost…’
‘I experienced presence and loss, and memories that fade away.’
‘Moving, wonderful digital imagery.’