Ed Pien: Memento
24 April – 4 July 2009
Memento is a newly commissioned installation by Canada-based Ed Pien. The work is a contemplation of the human condition: how we act and react to the inescapable forces that shape us. Memento has been developed out of research into the plight of illegal immigrants who often take great risks in the hope of living a more significant and meaningful life. Examples include ‘snakes’ or ‘ghosts’, those Chinese who remain hidden in society (the tragedy that beset the cockle pickers), the faujis, from India as well as the “burnt ones” young Moroccans, some, attempting to cross the Straight of Gibraltar, perish along the way.
Memento is a walk-through installation and consists of ropes, cut silhouettes, sound and video. The hand tied configuration alludes to fishing nets, traps, security fences and engulfing waves. The network of patterns is also reminiscent of the human circulatory system, passageways and maps. The video shown within the structure depicts the artist negotiating the might of churning waves emphasizing human beings’ vulnerability as well as celebrating their strength to confront and overcome difficulty.
Memento is a continuation of Pien’s ongoing interest in the otherworldly, invisibility, disappearance, and journeys. It poignantly reflects on the displaced, forgotten and unseen yet remains poetically open-ended, embracing multiple interpretations.