Memory Arena

Memory Arena

  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena
  • Memory Arena

Memory Arena

In 1998-I meet the American composer Arnold Dreyblatt. After working together on his stage production of “ Who’s Who in eastern and central Europe 1933” We started to develop the idea of a large scale interactive event based on the archive material he had gathered. The deployment would take years of hard work, trails and tribulations and came to be realized first in 1995. The project was created a total of three times. Each production was uniquely formed for the city and society for which it was produced.

„How will the present be remembered as it passes from living memory into History?“ (History as an Art or Memory“, Patrick H. Hutton, University of Vermont, 1993)

In „Memory Arena“, over 700 persons are invited to participate in multiple simultaneous readings from individual files created out of „Who’s Who in Central and East Europe 1933“within a very precise temporal and visual environment.

„Memory Arena“ is a fully functional bureaucratic institution involved in the retrieval of memory from ist storage as archival remains. For 16 hours over 4 days the „Memory Arena“ will process through ist facilities some 700 invited representatives of the city-site. The „Memory Arena“ interactive performance-installation will invite individuals from every facet of the local society such as from professional institutions, political organizations, the arts and sciences, the media; and from subcultures and minority groups, etc. „Memory Arena“ seeks to create a forum in which these hundreds of invited personalities and the thousands of pre-selected biographical files from the „Memory Arena“ Archive converge.

In 1985, Arnold Dreyblatt found a copy of „Who’s Who in Central and East Europe“ in a used book store near the Galanta Tower in Instanbul. It was published in 1935 (current through 1934) in the English language. This edition was the first and last biographical dictionary for this region to be published until „Who’s Who in the Socialist Countries of Europe“ in 1989. „This book contains over 10,000 authentic biographies of ecclesiastics, diplomats, civil cervants, technicians, educators, military personnel, undustrialists, journalists, painters, sculptors, authors, etc., from Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Danzig, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary,, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Yugoslavia.“ The alphabetically arranged biographies were mostly composed by the individuals, themselves. In comparison to a contemporary „Who’s Who“ or biographical dictionary, here are found revelations of a personal nature: intimate details, traces, of desires and fears; life concepts and philosophies as well as references to major historical events.

„Memory Arena“ is a collective meeting invoking the act of remembering hat has been forgotten and posing questions as to what will remain of the present in the future.