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Urban Renewal (New Settings 2013)

Laisser parler la mémoire des lieux

Urban Renewal is the tragi-comic story of individual lives in the maelstrom of urbanization, architecture and power. Drawing on fragments of memory, cross-disciplinary performance artist Kyle deCamp takes a bird’s-eye view, with video artist Joshua Thorson.   

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Urban Renewal (New Settings 2013)
© Ellie Markovitch

Chicago in the Sixties. A patch of ground. An apartment block. A little girl. But the building no longer exists. A patch of waste ground in its place. What remains when structures are swept away? Kyle deCamp takes an unsentimental journey into her childhood memories and beyond, to the memory of place.

What was this patch of ground before, over the centuries? What does it tell us about ourselves, our history, the gigantic work of urbanization we have inflicted on our planet since the dawn of history, with its cartography of segregation and isolation?

Kyle deCamp is a New York-based writer, designer, performer and stage director. She trained with Merce Cunningham and has worked with avant-garde theatre pioneer Richard Foreman. Her performances spotlight the interaction of art, history and individual destinies, deploying new technologies to ‘play with differing modes of reality onstage.’ Urban Renewal draws on the talents of video artist Joshua Thorson, whose work has featured at MoMA, the Centre Pompidou, and film festivals worldwide.

Like deCamp, Thorson is a self-styled ‘loose cannon,’ challenging the established creative codes of art and narrative. His video installation opens dizzying horizontal and vertical perspectives – a multidimensional space in which the performer floats, quite literally, in search of memory, roots and a future. A spatially enchanting, poetic, cosmogonic work for New Settings 2013.

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Conception, text, design and performance: Kyle deCamp
Video creation: Joshua Thorson
Assistant: Yehuda Duenyas
Residency locations: Baryshnikov Arts Center, Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Live Arts Bard, New York Theater Workshop

With the support of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of its New Settings programme