Rememori is a degenerative memory game and playable poem that grapples with the effects of dementia on an intimate circle of characters.
Play-read or read-play, however you approach it and whoever you identify with, you’ll become entangled in a struggle for accurate recall, attention and the search for meaning. Inevitably, it’s a contrary game – there can be no winners.
I began creating Rememori about a year ago, when my father was in the later stages of Alzheimer’s Disease but still living at home, being cared for by my mother. I finished the work this weekend, coincidentally just as my father moved from a hospital ward into a Nursing Care Home. On the face of it, the main reason why it’s taken so long to make is because I took time out to work on other projects. During that period my father had a third massive stroke and the prognosis didn’t look good. So for a while, I think I was reluctant to return to the piece. I’m glad I did. There can be no happy endings in situations like these but, now that we have him settled in our preferred Care Home, there’s a sense of respite. I think the work reflects that, certainly in the later stages of the game.
Having said that, the work is a game – it’s not factual, it’s not autobiographical, but like all works of art, it’s fed by reflecting on one’s experience.
Modified image of brain: source thanks to Wellcome Library, London.