Pentimento, past, present and future: an interactive construction of memory

Barker, T. (2006) Pentimento, past, present and future: an interactive construction of memory. In: Rethinking the Past Conference, Sydney, Australia, 28-29 July 2006,

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Abstract

<p>Through an investigation of Dennis Del Favero’s interactive cinematic work Pentimento, this paper proposes to indicate the way in which this work is able to present the possibility of multiple histories and also the re-exploration of conceptions of past and future. As Jill Bennett asserts, at the centre of Pentimento is the exploration of memory. In addition to this exploration, Pentimento also allows the presentation and confusion of multiple sheets of past. The work presents several versions of the events which led to a murder at the foothills of the Blue Mountains. These “blocks” of recognition are triggered by the viewer’s interaction with the work. In every version of the recollection both the victim and the guilty party are changed. Thus, the narrative will never resolve in any logical sense, only in each individual viewer’s mind. The viewer re-joins the dis-jointed circuits of past in order to construct the memory of the event which never happened to them and to answer the questions posed by the narrative. The viewer’s inter-relation with the content of Pentimento then poses the further and more interesting question as to what the interactions tell the viewer about his/her own intentionality. The viewer and the characters unfold the multi-temporal narrative together, in doing so the viewer confronts questions of their relationship to the sexual and criminal content of the work and also the way in which events such as this and our memory of them form part of who we are today.</p> <p>Following Deleuze’s conception of sheets of past and peaks of present, as outlined in Cinema 2, this paper returns a Deleuze inspired theory through an investigation of the multi-layered lines of past represented by Pentimento. This paper proposes to outline the way in which multi-temporal works such as Del Favero’s alter our conception of the relationship between memory, past and present.</p>

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barker, Dr Timothy
Authors: Barker, T.
Subjects:N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies

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