06 September 2012

The morning after

The opening of the show, ostensibly 6pm-8pm, sped past in a flash - and went on rather longer than expected. I lost all sense of time, and talked till my throat was sore. And I wrapped names into the red ball of connection...
Overview, midway through the evening

It was such fun to meet and chat with people. I loved answering questions, and got quite wrapped up in some of the conversations. Every now and then someone would say, "give me your camera, I'll take some pictures" - or I'd remember that the camera was handy.
Chen Chen - a photographer with a real camera
Iris's flatmate used her hair to make her books
When I wasn't talking about my "Disintegration", I was winding names into the ball - and telling myself, aloud,  a story associated with each name. "Mary was in my class in high school, one of the bright kids, but she didn't go to university, she went off to the city to work as a secretary. Even though she lived nearby, we lost touch and years later I heard she'd married and had a son who had a degenerative disease and died aged seven." Etc, etc. At some moments this muttering-aloud felt like a lunatic thing to do ... and I had no idea I'd be doing this! ... but as soon as I was in the space and started winding, it just happened. 
Winding ... and muttering
Sometimes I'd pick up a name and wave it at someone nearby [outrageous behaviour!] and start telling them the story... and then, of course, explain what I was doing, and ask them to add their name to the book, so that their name could be wound into the ball.
Several people asked "did you make your slippers?" - no, the Universe provided the shoes.
Still wrapping
Once all the school friends had been wound into the ball, I added a layer of family and family friends, picking up names at random. My grandmothers were picked up one after another - close in memory, if not in life.
Empty "glasses" accumulate at the end of the evening
Many people wrote their names in the book, and picked up the Memory Balls, after a little encouragement. I was happy to see that people needed no encouragement to look through the Little Library - though I'm sure they thought some of the books were a little crazy... hey, it's art, right?

The bar was downstairs - down (and up) some 55 stairs - so I kept an ersatz mini-bar behind the seat/table. The (large, quilted) bag was lined with newspaper for insulation, and a bag of ice added, then a bottle of white wine either side.
Within a couple of hours, the wine was chilled nicely ... but I was often so involved in a conversation that I forgot to offer people a drink. (Should have made the seat wider, more storage space... among the many "things I'd do differently next time".)

We were among the last to emerge into the warm night, and found the entire area outside the building completely jammed with people hanging about, deciding where to go next - so many people that you could hardly make your way down the stairs. We went straight home, though (an hour's journey), and had toast & marmite, and another glass of wine.

"What next?" people asked me. "More of the same," I said - the pat answer.

1 comment:

Jane Housham said...

Sounds wonderful. Congratulations on the show. I wish I could see it all in the flesh. Your telling stories to people makes a connection with the Tino Sehgal installation at the Tate, perhaps.