THE HOUSE OF DOCTOR DUENDE | 1997 | Video, Betacam SP | 28’00”

The House of Doctor Duende discovers in the ordinary spaces and artifacts of the everyday the disturbingly baroque constructions of migrant memory.

The video essay draws from one chapter of the novel Baroque Memories by Paul Carter and a series of oral history interviews of Italian immigrants in Melbourne.

The texts, for voice-over and two readers, interweave three narrative threads: a hyper-real scenario which evokes the life and philosophy of Doctor Duende, the migrant doctor whose practice attracts people suffering from various forms of “migrant nostalgia”; a series of architectural views of streets and facades in inner city Melbourne depicting Duende’s fascination of the ‘baroque’ and his view of memory as the continual improvisation of oneself out of the incidentals of one’s surroundings; and the ironic counterpointing of Duende’s story with moments of the actors’ reading rehearsals and production-in-process where the ‘author’ proposes his own conception of migrant memory.

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