Sometimes it’s good to go to a place where there are few distractions. A place without windows – where you can’t see the world outside and the only option is to sit there, with yourself and the walls.
“Hello walls (hello hello) how things go for you today?”
Blast Theory had such a space that no-one was using, and I had been running around, looking at things that the dead had left behind. So I moved into the room for a while to try to come back to myself, and to consider all the things I had been looking at.
Photographs and letters. Paintings and writings. Taxes and bills and containers of ashes. Old moving images to remind me of those who had left.
I tried to recall what I had been doing before – I drew a chart that detailed movement, rhythm, gesture, spatial and temporal organisation, phrasing, energy, dynamics, kinaesthesia, time, pulse, phrasing and pattern.
Then I wrote a sign with three quotes that I only vaguely remembered….
“I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m doing it” (Jonathan Burrows?)
“I have nothing to say, and I’m saying it”. (John Cage)
“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way”. (….?)
“Hello ceiling (hello hello) I’m gonna stare at you awhile.”
I looked at photographs in books, looking for something, and became drawn to images where there seemed to be something, or someone missing.
I turned to some old video that I had found in the apartment of one of the deceased. Shaky camera views of Kansas and pigs and goats and sunsets. A self shot documentary, shot over many years, as yet unorganised and unedited. A documentary of a woman who used to be an actress, who used to be beautiful – her self conscious performance to camera, as she tries to document her own history in an attempt to preserve something, and to quench her fears that once she is dead she will be forgotten.
I looked at the photographs in books for things that have been forgotten.
I looked at old super 8 footage of my own past, fascinated at seeing my own body in images from the 60s and 70s but having no memory at all of being that person, in that body, in those places. And as I watched these images I felt myself become suddenly unstable, like my foundations were wobbling. I locked the door, closed the blinds on the window (I lied about there being no window – there is a window in the bunker, but it looks out onto a wall).
“Hello wall (hello hello)”
“Hello window (hello hello)”
And I wept and wept for those who had gone.
And then I made this.
(Quotes from Hello Walls by Willie Nelson)
Blog & video by Becky Edmunds, filmmaker and Blast Theory Associate Artist.