Ana Alice Miranda / Helena Cruz / Maria João Estevão

At the beginning a sentence: “If you opened people up you’d find landscapes”, a quote from Agnès Varda’s film Les Plages d’Agnès (2008). From the intimate relationship with memories, we arrive at a safe place, the landscape of each one of us: the physical or psychological place where one was once happy, a constant in a life of change. For Agnès this safe place was the beach, a place where your memories are forever deposited, living in the same space.

We were inspired by the idea of walking between memories and the various states of consciousness that arise from this apparent simple exercise. More than defining a character for a fiction, in IF WE OPENED PEOPLE UP, WE’D FIND LANDSCAPES, memories are constructed and recreated from objects, dialogues, places, glimpses of people previously met. We move slightly away from the idea of an autobiography, and focus on the concept of forgetfulness and consciousness, approaching these themes from an exploratory point of view. We propose a path that passes through the recreation of these landscapes, and by them the reconstruction of memories.

As a design fiction’s project, IF WE OPENED PEOPLE UP, WE’D FIND LANDSCAPES presents a psychological experiment carried out by a fictional institution – the Marae Foundation. Three volunteers, Friedrich, Victor and Aurora, find themselves at an imaginary place, their own imaginary safe place, a landscape that triggers autobiographical episodes and allows a derivative navigation within a selected set of artifacts. Once there, what is possible to control? How are these artifacts, that are more than objects, handled? In the end, how do revisited memories impact the volunteers and their perception of their own life? Presented as an immersive experience, where you can go through each experiment after having lived the characters’ journeys, the project allows you to fill in the gaps and to dive into the broad concept of memory and its effects on each individual.