Ann Hamilton. Mneme

For this work, Ann Hamilton visited Liverpool several times. Her response to the city was, in part, a response to the presence of the River Mersey, with its huge tidal range, and its relation to the original use of the Gallery’s warehouse building – a space for stuffing and emptying, a site of comings and goings.In planning the installation for Liverpool, Hamilton invokes the human measurement on which the warehouse architecture was designed – with ceilings no higher than a dock worker could stack goods. mneme, in common with Hamilton’s previous work, creates an experience in which the sense of sight is only one of several called upon. Touch and hearing are equally engaged in an effort to make meanings which are both intimate to the viewer and social in their implications. The simple but telling gesture of filling the ground floor gallery with dense, suspended layers of fabric partly conceals the space from sight but reveals it to the touch. On the top floor, space is laid bare, and the outside world is seen and felt through the membrane of the building. Amid this emptiness can be heard a human voice, emitting from a turntable turned repeatedly by hand, by an attendant whose rapt attention is concentrated on the effort to make the sound of words as if by touch. The word mneme derives from the Greek word for memory. It refers to the capacity of living organisms to retain the after-effects of experience. Hamilton’s installation for Liverpool creates an experience of relationships which are sought rather than grasped, glimpsed rather than beheld.

Text: Wakefield Neville, Nesbitt Judith. cm 19,5×25; pp. 114; COL and BW; paperback. Publisher: Tate Gallery Publishing, London, 1994.

ISBN: 9781854371386| 185437138X

ID: AM-3408

Product Description

For this work, Ann Hamilton visited Liverpool several times. Her response to the city was, in part, a response to the presence of the River Mersey, with its huge tidal range, and its relation to the original use of the Gallery’s warehouse building – a space for stuffing and emptying, a site of comings and goings.In planning the installation for Liverpool, Hamilton invokes the human measurement on which the warehouse architecture was designed – with ceilings no higher than a dock worker could stack goods. mneme, in common with Hamilton’s previous work, creates an experience in which the sense of sight is only one of several called upon. Touch and hearing are equally engaged in an effort to make meanings which are both intimate to the viewer and social in their implications. The simple but telling gesture of filling the ground floor gallery with dense, suspended layers of fabric partly conceals the space from sight but reveals it to the touch. On the top floor, space is laid bare, and the outside world is seen and felt through the membrane of the building. Amid this emptiness can be heard a human voice, emitting from a turntable turned repeatedly by hand, by an attendant whose rapt attention is concentrated on the effort to make the sound of words as if by touch. The word mneme derives from the Greek word for memory. It refers to the capacity of living organisms to retain the after-effects of experience. Hamilton’s installation for Liverpool creates an experience of relationships which are sought rather than grasped, glimpsed rather than beheld.

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