Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review: (Toronto) How Can I Forget (SummerWorks)

Remember When...
by Zoe Erwin-Longstaff

While it’s comforting to think of memories as stored away treasures nestled safe in the attic of our mind, recent scientific developments have us disabused. Rather than waiting for nostalgic moments to emerge fully formed, memories are created afresh each time we summon them.  Even at their most robust, these recollections are elusive, and not to be trusted. Still we rely on memory, we have to, to form a coherent narrative of who we think we are.The tricky quality of memory and its role in identity formation is the fodder for Sook-Yin Lee, resident artist at SummerWorks, and her collaborator, Ben Camino’s, experimental multimedia performance, How Can I Forget

Like Charlie Kaufman’s film, Eternal Sunshine,” How Can I Forget, attempts to demonstrate the fragmented quality of memory through drawing us into the protagonist’s mind.  There, with Lee as guide, we navigate her childhood, as she confronts episodes of her mother’s mental illness and moments leading up to her sister’s untimely death.   Even these most redolent instances are shown as approximate.  Where words cannot communicate great physical repetition takes its stead. All of this makes for an engrossing evening of theatre, and one not quickly forgotten. 

How Can I Forget is at SummerWorks

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