Embodied Landscape

In the absence of architecture — a building that has been demolished and lost — how may we reflect on its idea? How can we speak about it? How do we remember it? Would we remember it as it was? Would our imaginations come from pictures, memories, and other people’s stories? There is a poetic about such translations, as a concrete structure transforms into a soft picture in our mind; it becomes so stretched, so morphed. That was once architecture becomes like a phantom. Isn’t it like a shadow that overrides its body? Or like masculinity in that thing that becomes female, becomes queer? It is a state in which architecture becomes an event: existing through our imaginations, reflections and inventions. It is the absence that deconstructs the presence, the impossible that becomes possible.

Embodied Landscape is a multimedia+performance that reflects on the history of a lost architecture: The Marble Temple. An iconic building of M&T’s former headquarters, the White Marble Temple was built in 1913 in Buffalo (NY) with four stories high and the interior finished with white marbles. The building was demolished in 1959 and its marble columns were partly preserved: some now stand at Baird Point next to Lake LaSalle on the University at Buffalo’s North Campus, dedicated as a memorial to servicemen and servicewomen; the rest remnants of the columns remain in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, at the site of Wilkeson Pointe Park. Embodied Landscape is a film that reworks dance documentary to suggests a meditation on the idea of architecture as event. The video features a sensory, tactile relationship between different bodies: the body of the female and the bodies of marble stones.

This project will be exhibited as an immersive video experience (three large screens + live performance) at Eleven Twenty Projects (1120 Main St, Buffalo, NY).

opening: May 1, 2020, 6:00-9:00 pm

Embodied Landscape will be also available as locative media for in situ experience. The visitors can experience the film, sound compositions, and narration as a location-based piece at the site of the park on their mobile phone. 

credits:

concept, film & locative media: Maryam Muliaee

dance: Naila Ansari

director of cinematography: Mani Mehrvarz

narration: Khodja Sy

 

An old postcard showing The Marble Temple built for M&T’s headquarters in Buffalo
a remnant from building’s column
Google Map shot showing the marble stones alining the water border

stills from the film, courtesy of the artist

© Maryam Muliaee 2019