The Wonderful and the Ordinary

“Why is it that some images are so strong and sharp and so suitable for awakening memory, whilst others are so weak and feeble that they hardly stimulate memory at all? We must inquire into this so as to know which images to avoid and which to seek.” – 56 BC, author unknown.

Already in antiquity people knew the power of images. The students in rhetoric, who wanted to improve their memory capacity, were told to reshape everything they wanted to remember into colorful, beautiful or violent images. These extraordinary images would help them to retain all the information they needed in their memory.

But is it true that we remember the wonderful and extrem more than the ordinary? Warbattles, revoutions, kings and queens… what about all the tiny, irrelevant, boring details from our every day lives? Like how someone walked in the street or how the weather changed from morning til dawn.

The Wonderful and The Ordinary inquire into all sorts of memories, raising the question if it’s only the amazing stuff that is worth to remember.

The focus will be on the function of memory: how facts change; how the ephemeral sometimes tends to become fixed because of our endless need for narratives.

This performance is a collaboration between Gunilla Heilborn and Theater Im Bahnhof. The Austrian/Swedish cast will use film, original music, song, dance and text, and the stage will serve a memory palace for the performers to recall, repeat and question their memories.

World premiere in Graz, Steiricher Herbst, September 29, Orphéum