Thursday, 26 February 2009

den show,scratch event in my lounge :)

decided to trial two of the 3 proposals in the end;
  1. in the den, asking the participant to get an object from the table outside, bringing it in and discussing it, putting the object in a pillowcase, and leaving its trace in a frame on the sideboard (objects on the sideboard are nostalgic feminine nan type objects including sweets in a side dish.)
  2. in the den, asking the participant to write a birthday/greeting/blank card from a shoe box in the den, to a female you once knew,discussing its story between the female and the participant, photogramming it, tearing off the card front and replacing with the photogram, leaving its trace as a photogram card on a sideboard outside. possible shredding of card?? use of walkie talkie to attract attention of participant placed under the table
here's the setting up;

preparing the table- nostalgic feminine type food/objects

various chairs/coverings experimented with......

the photogram appearing from the den left by the participant

upturned furniture

inside...blankets, darkroom objects

feedback from participants;

participant one: option 1:
  • didn't like pillowcase, try squirrelling the object away under the blanket. (did this for the second participant, worked better, more kid like)
  • felt ok with only one object, equal exchange, as i brought my connection into their story- previous work has been their object, my object.
  • liked that it wasn't fully light tight, can see pattern of curtains and photogram technique still worked.
  • possible sew/tack together the sheets for a little less likelihood of collapse of the den
  • the two participants were both small women, larger men may find it difficult to sit up, need higher chair etc
  • this piece had a more fun, less serious element than my previous work, more playful like a true kids den
  • maybe say 'pick an object or part of the object and see you in the den'
  • really liked the fan
participant one: option 2:
  • liked the shredding idea: symbolises what's gone in your life well
  • liked idea of using walkie talkies, keeping me in the den all the time and being invited in
  • questioning how people would respond to the theme of a female who was important in your life- preoccupation with death, how would i feel if i was asked to do this?
  • liked use of cards, choice of cards and presentation of these
participant two: fedback after experiencing both options:
  • liked second one better, more personal, able to directly work with own material for the exchange. felt was something specific to hang onto, something meaningful
  • a journey that had been on to take away with them, and continue to reflect on
  • felt wanted to now get back in touch with the person that was important
  • finds it easy to talk to strangers, nothing to hide, no prior knowledge to bring
  • liked the shredding, very cleansing
  • didn't feel like therapy, wasn't guiding/encouraging them to resolve conflicts, i was sharing similar experiences
  • option one- liked way thoughts went from one onto the next, started and ended in completely different places. this was also centred on an experience with a male, instructions weren't clear- although conversation went on to that
  • found it enriching finding out about another
  • chose to write the envelope rather than a card- the card was quite thick and couldn't see the photogram of it (poss longer exposure?)
  • always had to be a was important? means it will always be able discussing loss, death, conflict, someone lost contact with
  • the photogram didn't work so well, liked the fingerprint mark left behind by them though
  • walkie talkies- liked me bring in there already, playful element, meeting a stranger in the half dark
  • hot in there- no air, can i be i there for 3 hours?
  • liked to have greater difference in heights of furniture making the den
  • get older frames, charity show, with a history
  • would have felt ok if had recorded this, liked the idea of someone going back in the den and listening to our encounter on headphones
  • liked the locked box, very kid like, secrets locked away
  • suggested i do it in her home for a girls night in, she liked the idea of an evening happening in her own home with activities and relaxing conversation around it. we talked about the ideas i have for it becoming a more portable event, den made from anything people have in their homes, or using their own private spaces
refelctions overall:

it felt sooooo good scratching my work again, i didn't do this for First Thursday Private View, and really felt it, now very much refinding the energy, revalidating and reclarifying my thoughts and centering myself back on my work.

decided to go with option two, meets more directly with the thematic of the show, about sharing female experiences. it also felt more personally heartfelt, and in keeping with my ideas around working with memories and photography

i need to now really consider making the space taller for bigger participants, finalising the furniture, writing the score out, and really considering how and why to use the walkie talkies, and how to start and end the piece without usher. do i really think this works best with me in the den the whole time: does however adds to the mystery of dens, and the element of meeting with a stranger is heightened, you don't know who's inside and what their private world is.

the space in trinity buoy wharf is apparently fairly dimly lit, which is good, and no dj in the end so noise levels with me talking. will however need a table lamp to see the images. how will it feel outside of my lounge in the space? and in relation to the wider experience of the thematic of the show?

more to follow in revisions this weekend......

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