Thursday, November 1, 2007

ch - Have you travelled far?

As I got to the space where the tutorial was going to be held I knew something quite different was going on. Walking along the corridor I could hear what can only be described as Musack - elevator music. As I got to the door I was greeted by a woman in a black trouser suit who greeted me warmly, if perhaps a bit awkwardly who asked me;
"Have you travelled far?"
"No not very far" I replied in a semi-confused state, 'Only from downstairs', I thought.

She then proceeded to offer me a drink, I chose a beer, and as I crossed the threshold and into the room, and as my eyes got used to the low lit setting I could see a Coffin lying on a table atop a purple cloth.

She then asked me if I knew anyone else present and I didnt as they were a mixture of second year Part-time students. I was introduced to a couple more people and wandered over to inspect the coffin.

On top of it was a bunch completely withered and crumbling roses, the brass name plaque was devoid of any indication of to 'who' this was but was covered in a sticky residue, like when you peel off the label from a beer bottle. Had there been a name?Scattered over the floor were a mixture of dead and recently live petals.

The room slowly started to fill up, each greeted in the same way I had been until the group was assembled. I was at a loss as to what was happening or what I was supposed to be taking form this work.

Then it became even more confusing, on the screen behind the coffin was projected a group of nine naked women apparently sleeping on a wooden bunk-bed structure which reminded me very much of the kinds of conditions people had to live in at Auschwitz, was that the connection? Concentration camps - death? Then why were we supposedly at a wake of an unknown, un-named person? I was still incredibly confused and nothing that was being dicussed was helping. I just couldnt make sense of this work at all.

The session was drawing to a close and it came out whilst talking to the artist that she was not actually sure what the work was about - well then what on earth are we supposed to be able to take from it? No wonder I couldnt understand it, there was nothing to understand.

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