18 June – 20 October 2013
V&A Museum, London
The exhibition brought together a new work of fiction with 20 specially commissioned installations by graphic designers, illustrators and typographers to create a walk-in book.
Co-Curated with Ligaya Salazar
The author Hari Kunzru was commissioned to write a new short story for the exhibition.
The story is set in a future London, hundreds of years after the world’s infrastructure has been wiped out by an immense magnetic storm. Technology and knowledge have been lost, and a dark age prevails. Nature has taken over the ruins of the old city, and power has been seized by a group who enforce a life of extreme simplicity on all citizens. Recording, writing, collecting and art are outlawed.
The narrator of the story is in prison.
He is accused of being a member of a banned sect, who have revived the ancient ‘art of memory’. He uses his prison cell as his ‘memory palace’, the location for the things he has remembered: misunderstood details of things we may recognize from our time. He clings to the belief that without memory, civilization is doomed.
20 practitioners were invited to respond to different passages of the story and create visual
interpretations of the narrative that visitors could walk through and experience.
Francesco Franchi | Ars Memoria | 2013