The Harris Museum & Art Gallery presents I Remember All, a spectacular new film and performance work by Maeve Rendle.
In 1896, three years after the Harris Museum & Art Gallery opened its doors to the public, the premiere of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull was staged in St Petersburg. The play, now considered one of Chekhov’s finest, was a critical and commercial flop. Continuing her research into literary and dramatic moments of transcendence, Maeve Rendle takes fragments of a monologue from The Seagull to create a new, looping script that resonates powerfully with the present cultural and political moment.
Although destined for exploitation and obscurity, the character of Nina is given an epic monologue that is both a reminder and a foretelling of horrors witnessed and perpetrated by the human race. It suggests, through a cosmic fusing of souls, that the thoughts and actions of the individual are indivisible from the whole. I Remember All resuscitates Chekhov’s play and Nina’s portrayal of the World Spirit, transforming the words from their original context and revealing the extraordinary power and timelessness of the text.
The new script was performed to camera in the artist’s studio by Scottish actress Nicola Ferguson. As Nicola opens her mouth to speak, a chorus sings the familiar backing melody of Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side, threatening to derail her. Ferguson’s blistering performance is pushed to the limit, echoing the trials and tribulations of the Soul of the World who, wearied by the deeds of men, reminds us that history is a stage upon which all things happen, and all things are seen.
The Harris Museum & Art Gallery has commissioned I Remember All with additional support from the University of Central Lancashire and The International 3. The work will be shown in a special one-off performance in the magnificent central atrium of the museum on Wednesday 5 April 2017 at 7pm.
Please note the peformance will last for twenty minutes. The audience will stand, although stools will be available if required.
Maeve Rendle is a British artist based in Preston, Lancashire. Recent projects include solo exhibitions Gabriel’s Gretta, Gretta’s Gabriel at The International 3, Salford and Unframe at the Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, group exhibitions New and recent acquisitions for the Grundy Collection, Grundy Art Gallery, Die Dritte Hand Last Exit Painting, Salon Dahlmann, Berlin, Innsbruck International Festival of the Arts, The Way We Do Art Now, Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin and performances at Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester Contemporary, Poppositions Brussels and London Art Fair. She is the recipient of a University of Central Lancashire research grant and Arts Council England Artists’ International Development Fund grant, which supported the research and development of I Remember All. She was nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Arts in 2014 and for the Northern Art Prize in 2008. Maeve Rendle is represented by The International 3.
This performance is part of the Harris Museum's Dance First, Think Later programme of contemporary art curated by Clarissa Corfe which has been supported by the following funders: