Boston's drinking water flows over a history of colonization and forced evacuation. In “Memory Flow/Water of Boston,” the Metonymy Collective (Tzintzun acted as an organizer, site creator and performer) revives layers of memory and systemic violence that are submerged under the Quabbin Reservoir. The Swift River Valley was home to two major displacements. The indigenous communities that inhabited the area were replaced by the pioneer towns, after suffering violent attacks that led to their genocide. The pioneer towns were also eventually removed for Boston to build a 'safe' and pristine body of drinking water.
During their performances the Metonymy Collective installs a labyrinth of memory and history inside the the spaces they inhabit. A labyrinthian structure of plastic membranes, pictures suspended in water, paper cutouts and projected textures will turn the space into a memory chamber. The space tells the multilayered histories of colonization, environmental destruction and economic starvation that lie at the bottom of the Quabbin. Water textures and sounds saturate the space, inviting the audience/collaborator to explore the depths of drowned history.
Similar to a living organism, the space responded to the audience’s intrusion. In a flow of constant movement, live performers lead the audience members/collaborators to the center of the maze. During this process, the history of the myriad displacements is told through shadow stories projected on the walls of the labyrinth. From the center of the maze emanates a visceral and improvised sonic piece, performed by two musicians who vocally loop ambiance of water and memory loss. Once they audience/collaborators arrives at the center of the labyrinth they encounter four containers full of “Quabbin Water,” in which pictures taken in the displaced towns of Prescott, Greenwich, Dana and Enfield lie submerged.
It is the audiences/collaborators task to extract the pictures from the water, before the ephemeral images are washed away. The audience members can take the images with them, for now that they have retrieved the memory, it is their responsibility to keep it alive and breathing.
++ "Memory Flow: Narratives of Water, Land and Displacement," (Performance Art/Installation/Conference,) Deerfield Business Center, South Deerfield, MA. April, 2018.
(A Two Day Conference/Performance and Plans for Future Action, In Collaboration With Visioning B.E.A.R Intertribal Coalition).
++ "Memory Flow: Water of Boston," (Performance/Installation,) Goddard College, VT. March, 2018.
++ "Memory Flow: Water of Boston," (Performance/Installation,) XFest 2018, Dorchester Art Project, Boston, MA. Feburary, 2018
For this project, TZINTZUN worked under the umbrella of the Metonymy Collective with co-artists: Blake Lavia, Aly Gear, Kiah Raymond, Harry Barrick, Pam Acosta, Marie Nicholson, Deane Silsby and Marci Diamond.
Video and Photopraphy for this project was captured by Blake Lavia.