Palimpsests

SAMSUNG

Working with site over the last few years has dramaturgically been a gathering of story layers both from written sources and oral history; in other words, the site’s archive and repertoire. My most recent project began from Diane Taylor’s premise in her book The Archive and the Repertoire that ‘[p]erformances function as vital acts of transfer, transmitting social knowledge, memory and a sense of identity…’ (2003:381). I wanted to create a script through the collection of material from two sources, the site’s archive and the site’s repertoire. I created a character who was an amalgamation of these stories and layers of different voices, most of which were female. My character, Vera, became the feminine voice of my chosen site. Within the same performance I was also performing as myself, as the host of a coffee morning, as narrator, guide, and performer. These facets of my performance are the layers of a persona that I voice, alongside the sites story layers that Vera is voicing. Both Vera and myself could be considered palimpsests, personifying the layers of stories that have been stacked up on top of one another but where, hopefully, glimpses of the ones underneath can still be seen.

Palimpsest…

: on which the original writing has been erased and replaced with new writing http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/palimpsest 

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