Knowledge Burial, timed artwork (2h20), torn paper, graphite pencil, recitation.
Naming of queer protagonists in history and culture, till memory fails you.
This began as a work ostensibly about queer celebration (today, coincidentally, is International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia), and as it progressed became about knowledge failure, specifically my failure. As part of my practice during this residency, I was seeking to develop new means of expression, where writing and (performative) installation have come forward. I’ve been exploring paper as a building tool, rather than a blank surface. A medium to occupy space with, not decorate, or prettify it. Timer set, I began to reflect, contemplate, write and recite names of figures that have been relevant to queer (high and low) culture, that I have felt myself rise upon, or even repel, from antiquity to the present. I wanted to fill the entire space, and was confident I could, being just 2 metres square thereabouts.
After 2 hours 20 minutes I felt dry and empty. I had no more to give to this work. I felt anguished, but I was also levitating. The room yelled its names, telling me it wasn’t enough.
The Apologies, timed artwork (1 hour 15 minutes) writing in chalk on floor, four photocopied photographs.
Continuing my exploration of the power and possibilities of the written word as artistic expression, ephemerality and permanence, catharsis and healing (in the queer community), this work explores experience and confession as an artistic truth. The four photographed images in the space set boundaries of the physical, the emotional, psychological and the natural, creating a purifying, prayerful forcefield which encloses the artist as he tries to “write” wrongs in a hour and fifteen minute chalk work. Once completed, the piece is expected to remain for an unspecified duration. Visitors are encouraged to walk on the piece, so their presence gradually wears away the message over time, in an act of wilful communal healing.