Memoir is a 2 channel, 16 minute video installation based on the real life histories of two women. Incorporating a blend of documentary and fiction, this work creates a single, multi-layered audio/video narrative experience.
The two people that form the basis of Memoir are my 25-year old friend Denise and my 77-year old mother Eva. Although they have never met, they share parallel biographies. They both arrived in Canada as immigrants in search of a new life and trained in dance and theatre with promising careers ahead of them. Enduring difficult episodes of trauma, their arrival to Canada was not so much a salvation as another step in their journey towards claiming their independence and finding their sense of place within a new country.
The similarities between these two distinct experiences are exceptional, and Memoir is an intimate account that intertwines their lives and overlaps their two contexts. Using these stories as a foundation, the film develops a larger narrative that explores the themes of loss and displacement, exposure and intimacy, and strength and regret that run beneath their biographies. As the title suggests, Memoir is structured to reflect the nature of memory, manipulating the space between truth and fiction, past and present.
Memoir premiered at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto, October 3, 2009
With grateful acknowledgement to Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council for their support in the creation of this work.