My Map: Scenes from a Pop-Up

Photo by Elena Siemens

This image from our recent My Map exhibit looks like a theatrical mise-en-scene. A Pop-Up is a theatre of improvisation: a fast set up (no hierarchy, everyone is a leading star), followed immediately by a one-act show, point and tell, having a laugh, then taking the exhibit down and clearing the room. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Collage and Photo by Elena Siemens

A personal map, also an improvisation, does not take itself too seriously either. Unlike the official map, it highlights only a selection of landmarks, those that matter to you personally. It might leave the viewer puzzled, but that’s exactly what it’s after. A personal map is a little secret that you share with others, partially (You Are Here: The Personal Map Project).

Photo by Elena Siemens

The only constant in this equation is a set of photos from the Pop-Up. As Susan Sontag points out: “To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed” (Winter Photos, Pure Nostalgia). With the curtain down on it, our show will still go on, now in celluloid which has its own advantages.

Elena Siemens (Univ.of Alberta)