Junk Ensemble: Drinking Dust
The subjectivity of memory is fertile ground for experimental work. A delicately treasured memory in one person can, if artfully enough conveyed, provoke a parallel experience in others. Ireland’s Junk Ensemble – the core of which is two sisters, Megan and Jessica Kennedy – is intent on providing just such an experience.
Its dance-theatre piece centres on two young women, an old man and a child. Each of these characters explores memory, while provoking us to consider how much of our recollected past is what actually happened and how much is what we wanted to happen.
‘It came from the idea of abandonment, so we divide the audience in half for the first part of the performance,’ says Megan. ‘If people come in couples, we try to break them up to emphasise this feeling of abandonment.’
Jessica breaks it down to images: ‘There’s this idea of forgotten and stolen memories, the notion that there are bits and pieces of our lives that we’re inclined to slowly retrace now and then. There are memories that we think of as ours, but they never were ours to begin with. Sometimes you’re told about a photograph so much that you think you’re in the photograph. The characters are quite fluid, but they recur, it’s like a very skewed family portrait.’
If this sounds confusing, Megan reassures me: ‘People know what’s happening. It’s a dance piece with non-dancers, and there’s a definite narrative to it.’
Arches, Glasgow, Tue 21 & Wed 22 Apr