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Mémoire (2015)

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for Malek

Choreography and Performance: Dawn Kramer
Camera and Editing: Stephen Buck
Music: Evan Harlan, Memoir
Paris and Montigny sur Loing
© 2015 Dawn Kramer

Our Algerian poet friend, Malek Alloula, died unexpectedly in February, 2015. We wanted to make a video as an homage to him. His last poem, so prescient, is called Les Pluies du Miracle, (The Rains of the Miracle.) It speaks of a kind of human translucence…that at the end of life as we know it, we become the sky, the sunrise, the luminous colors of the dawn, etc. So I wanted to create evanescent moments in the video. Some of Malek’s favorite places or things were the Canal St. Martin in Paris, chestnut trees, windows covered with gauze curtains, and the Eiffel Tower. These are reflected in our video.

"We are trying to make some video here, even with my arm issue. My idea, reflecting on Malek's poem, is to create "evanescent moments," short episodes that have a kind of translucency about them. Stephen may have another idea about making video here, but I am not exactly sure what it we stumble along and occasionally make an interesting minute or two.

Although it rained most of last weekend, and in fact the Loing River overflowed with the full moon and covered part of Thierry and Carmen's lawn, there was some clear enough sky Sunday night to see that gorgeous pleine lune. So after getting back from dinner, we shot a little late video. The next day we also did a little bit of me moving around the old Chestnut tree in the rain, but not sure the viewer can see that it's raining. Malek's poem is called, Les Pluies du Miracle (The Rains of the Miracle) so a little rain scene seemed appropriate. So far, I think our best shot at "evanescent luminescence" (!) was made in Charles and Julie's apartment, using the windows with gauze curtains and the mirror.

Sadly, our composer friend, Evan Harlan, died the prior February. His music, also called Memoir (for D.S.) was perfect for this video. So this piece is really an homage to Evan also. They are both wonderful artists and human beings.

The window scene was the first thing we shot. Later from our last apartment, we made the Eiffel tower part. Other things we added in. We didn’t really have a plan.