Part of COIL 2011
Conceived, directed and choreographed by Brian Rogers in collaboration with Madeline Best, Selective Memory is a real time video performance about nostalgia for relationships that never took place; events that never happened; a film never made, but which everyone remembers; and the exploitation of the misappropriation of "real" sounds and images that confound, distort, remake and ultimately erase the truth.
Inside a claustrophobic "film set" comprised of computer-controlled moving cameras, a shapeless dioramic background, embedded monitors and microphones, a single performer will establish a hyper-intimate relationship with the cameras; and a simultaneously elusive/remote relationship with the live audience. Using simple cinematic techniques--extreme close-ups, slow pans, jump cuts, and tiny movements all executed in real time--the performer cycles through a series of meticulously choreographed gestures in tandem with composed "shots" designed not to construct a narrative but rather to suggest an endless number of possible narratives, creating an enormous blank space in which the spectator will imagine characters, relationships, conflicts and emotions that are never literally present. Through the gradual repetition and manipulation of images, the "literal" materials of cinema--locations, backgrounds, sets, establishing shots, etc.--will be discarded, leaving only the camera and the performer in a sustained, neutral but intensely focused exchange that resembles a high wire act or an oscillating sine wave; erasing the distance between camera, performer and spectator, and in the end, erasing all traces of meaning, leaving only light.