Monica Ross and Co-Recitors
Act 55 of Anniversary - an act of memory
Tuesday 21 May 2013, 6:30pm
Solo, collective and multi-lingual recitations from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In collaboration with CGP London, we’ll be presenting recent work by the Danish artist Nikolaj Bendix Skylum Larsen, at Dilston Grove, Southwark Park, Bermondsey, 22 May - 23 June 2012. Promised Land presides over the issue of migration and how it shapes the motivations and fortunes of individuals and communities seeking drastic changes to their personal circumstances.
On this occasion we are pleased to invite the artist Monica Ross to lead Act 54 of Anniversary—an act of memory, a public recitation from memory of the 30 articles that form the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Anniversary - an act of memory is a performance series in 60 acts of solo, collective and multilingual recitations from memory of the entire Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by Monica Ross and Co-Recitors. The series began with a solo commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Declaration in 2008 and since then over 50 Acts have been performed internationally and across Britain in contexts including the House of Commons, Southwark Cathedral, Visual Arts and Performance Festivals, Galleries, Theatres, Libraries, Community Fairs and Conferences, as both stand alone works and collaborations with other artists.
To date more than 650 Co-Recitors of all ages from different communities have memorised and publicly recited articles of significance to them in 50+ languages including British Sign Language (BSL).
Each recitation is uniquely shaped by the producers and Co-recitors who deliver it. While the text and its aspirations remain the same, the different voices reciting in different languages mean that each performance is specific to its context and community. The artist and Co-recitors draw on oral traditions where memorisation and spoken repetition produce an embodied form of reproduction, which is at once an act of witness and one of taking responsibility for the transmission of knowledge. The emphasis is thus not on perfect recall, but on the attempt to remember and the difficulty of fulfilling the Declaration’s call to keep it ‘constantly in mind,’ especially when under pressure. Each recitation is also documented and posted online as an open archive, to be freely shared with a wider community.
Ross’s performance and multi-media works have been presented in many exhibitions and contexts since the 1970s, when feminism and other movements for social, cultural and political change were formative in shaping her experimental and often collaborative art practice.
Act 54 is part of the Anniversary - an act of memory UK Tour 2011-2013 and is supported by Arts Council England.
Part of the exhibition
Press acclaim for past performances
I would like suggest that Acts of Memory, premised upon a process of embodiment, goes beyond dissemination of the Declaration. Recitation locates human rights in human bodies.
Louise Purbrick, Museums and the Exercise of Human Rights
Acts of Memory, in its quiet, humble utopianism, in the willingness of its participants to so completely reveal their own vulnerability, in it's extraordinary ordinariness, evidences humanity at its best, bringing to the fore that which is always present but not always apparent - the will of the individual to feel and share love, respect and tolerance for themselves and for their fellow beings.
In partnership with
CGP London manages Cafe Gallery and Dilston Grove in Southwark Park, Bermondsey, London.
For further information, images and interviews, please contact Lois Olmstead at Autograph ABP - phone 020 7720 92200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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