Archive for April, 2011

Mermaid’s Hair?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Tape thrown over the beams

As I read through all the comments/notes I made based on conversations and reactions I witnessed at the residency space, ‘Where the House of Lines meets the House of Dreams’, I am fascinated by the children’s reaction to the space, during the closing down event. They refelcted on the space as ‘very funny’, a ‘special shop filled with wonderful things’ and asked me if I lived in the space! It’s fascinating that their reaction is almost opposite to that of adults. However, the adults that were present during the closing down event couldn’t help but be influenced by the children’s actions – which I can best descibe as completely transformational. changing the space again but within a matter of minutes! Zach commented that he ‘loved pulling the tape down’ and that is was his ‘best day ever!’. I am so pleased that families visited the closing down event; it seemed so fitting that those who already know me from my work at the Mead Gallery and Coventry Artspace, joined in the final act of closing down the space – something symbolic of my practice reflecting everything I do, as opposed to seperating practice from particpatory work.
This time based experience/action/re-action is something I will be investigating further.

Where the House of Lines meets the House of Dreams – Thoughts from Artist Susan Hull

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Entering the space, I remember a sign on the door telling me something about living in the moment. There was a real sense of stepping into this room and crossing a threshold, from the outside into this cavernous oblong.

The photos of you hanging in the web gave an immediate sense of action, motion and time passing, which linked up with the message on the door.

A pile of stuff was spilling in from the corner; packaging, cartons, boxes, cheap stuff, which initially invoked words like ephemera, discarded, unwanted, mess, rubbish.

Pushing beyond the glare of the harsh floodlight, I wanted to rush into the curtain of videotape that was dividing me from the rest of the room. Noticing the destroyed cassettes, I felt I had just walked in after some kind of action – anger, fun, violence, relief or something else. I wondered what memories were embedded in the tapes, that seemed tentacle-like when blowing in the breeze of the household fan. They lured people in, tangling them up and tripping them, but never giving anything away.

The artificial lights split the shadows. With the artificial breeze, and piles of stuff, they colluded to pull me around the space. The projection, at first, acted as an obstacle: I crossed, casting my shadow over the image of a delicate, rippling iridescent disk. (Later, after reading the chalk writings on the floor, I internally referred to this disk as Saturn). By doing this I interrupted it’s gentle repetitive cycle. I came to realise the space was filled with interruptions, divisions, stop/starts and the perpetually intermittent. The sound accompanying the disc – or Saturn – is a close distorted sound, maybe breathing, rubbing something near, too close.

More piles of stuff. This isn’t discarded rubbish. It’s intimate remains. It is familiar; it’s from my house – over here – clothes, fabrics, fairy lights. Over there; glass, mirrors, picture frames. Stuff of reflections, stuff of the past. This isn’t a room, it’s a lifetime. And I am the voyeur.

The space was at once chaotic and ordered. When the dreams meet the lines maybe. Discovering your careful intent to ‘place’ the seemingly disorganised maybe added to this.
The desire to prod and poke and discover the story conflicted with the uneasy atmosphere that sought to repel me – something has just happened and I shouldn’t be here.

Finally, thinking about what you have said to me about life and art and it all being one: You left chalk and string and party poppers from the previous occupants of the space. By doing this, those remains become part of your space and your history. Your space is therefore made from parts that are neither ‘art’ or ‘real life’ but essentially both. So I get the sense that process and life is the same as art, which is a feeling I really empathise with.