Sunday, November 8, 2009

Showing not in Little Britain

It's been an intense Friday at Wimbledon College today, happily concluded by a nice get together at the nearby pub. Got to say that British pubs can be quite dull and sad, but if you are with the right company they start looking almost cosy and inviting. 

Today we had the lecture theatre booked for the afternoon to use as a performance and exhibiting space, where to show our work to anybody who is around and willing to walk in and have a chat. I found that a great idea and was looking forward to it. It got most of us working really hard to be able to put something up on time, and it was great seeing everybody experimenting and bringing things in.

As regards to my piece I was quite unsure what type of work I should propose. So far I have been reading and writing a lot, accompanied by some sketches and photographs. Exhibiting these would be really lame, as they are just some elements that support my research, but are not quite right to present as a 'sample' of my work. As my interest has shifted from the 'visual' to the 'non visual' or more pricisely to the 'not seen', I asked myself which direction do i take next? Is blindness a theme that I want to use in my work, or is it that certain condition which obliges individuals to use their other senses to the fullest that I want to suggest to the audience? This is why I first thought of a slide show storyboard for a small part of Orhan Pamuk's 'My name is red'. But while sketching I realised it was not the right thing. So if I was to take my 'blind' ideas further, i need to put it into practice. I decided to blindfold myself for an hour or two and 'explore' the works of my colleagues using my other senses, considering essential dialogue. I spent a while to find a simple ribbon to use for the blindfold, so as not to look like a performer who's on about showing something off. It was really to be part of my research. 

While everyone was preparing their work to be taken upsatairs, in my effort of not looking around too much before my 'perception exploring', I was doing some experiments with a small torch, trying to create only a small dot of light. I tryed putting on 'blinds' on the glass bit of it, with tiny holes, but the effect was still that of the diffusing light that a torch normally has. That's until I got Esteban to have a look and he suggested I make a long cone, attach it to the torch and then block it with a 'blind'. Great, it worked! But the torch didn't look like a flashlight anymore, it was half a meter long and looked like a small kalashnikov. Looking through the small hole on the blind with the light on, it created a really nice tunnel effect, so I made a black paper container for it, through which people can look. It wasn't gonna take long, and it was something I could show as well. While finishing it off, I was surprised by my colleagues who announced that we don't have the space which had been booked for us. Quite literally we had been kicked out, and for this kind of school and standards that is unacceptable.

Where things went from there is something I will go back to in another post. Good thing was we had a new group meeting to discuss our priorities and needs as students who are part of Wimbledon College. For as much as this country has hit us with a culture shock, it's good to know where we stand.

This is where the magic happens! And it's a miracle as well, just picture nearly 16 of us there making performance in that space...

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