Thursday, 23 July 2009

day three on the course.... navigating self within the salt

Today I explored what salt means to me personally and also universally.

For me it makes me think of the death of my grandfather in 1977, (he ate a lot of salt on his food, he died shortly after Elvis and my brother's birth.) Its also a material that preserves life ( and the extreme variant- the preserved Mann in Salz in the Salt Mine museum in Hallein.) This piece I created was videoed but only recorded half of it, doh!

Here's photo of me and my grand-parents at the seaside. Maybe Hastings, Littlehampton? This choice of map as the table cloth. Taken in approx 1976-1977

Here's the Mann in Salz from here

I'm keen to think about the relationship between the two- the universality of life and death, to make the work more fluxus related. I see this as a piece of process, not a product, something to simplify/generate into a fluxus piece. Initally after doing this piece and looking at the photos I felt frustrated in myself, i felt back in the shed of my MA work, i enjoyed the physicality of object, sound, narrative like in shed, but i felt back in the place of rehearsal and spectacle, i missed the participatory audience and also wanted to be feeling and responding to the moment which has shaped my post-MA practice.

I think in fact, I'm getting mixed up with the relationship between score and rehearsal. How much is left to chance, how prescriptive versus how spontaneous?

Here's the score from yesterday;
  • Enter the salt pit with satchel, bucket and spade
  • Sit down in the far corner
  • Layout out the map, with the doiley and picture frame on it
  • build saltcastle
  • Stick a birthday candle into the middle of the castle
  • Light the candle
  • Cut 3 flags from the exercise book
  • Write out the names of my brother, grandfather and Elvis, giving birth dates
  • Make them into flags
  • Say their name
  • Secure with a hairgrip
  • Stick the flags in the top of the castle
  • Play 'Love me Tender' music inside the satchel
  • Create a hole pushing the bucket into the salt
  • Name each item and put them into the hole: map, frame,doiley,snakes and ladders game
  • Fill the hole with salt, pat the top to smooth it.
  • Write the death dates on the flags
  • Move all the flags to the area where the hole was, stick them in
  • Blow out the candle
  • Stand on the castle to squash it.
  • Pick up the satchel, bucket and spade and leave
Issues that arose:
  • Making the saltcastle: the salt was too soft and dry, even though I had brought some wetter salt from another part of the pit. may need to import more/ make wetter
  • colour contrast: white flags too poor visibility. get coloured ones
  • the salt looks like sand: make this more explicit, find a salt cellar to fill the hole: links more to the death/life idea- preserving the objects like a time capsule, yet like a grave
  • ok to say the names?
  • how/when/where to play the 'love me tender' music. i like the idea of burying the sound.
  • not to panic i'm going back to work i no longer like, its ok to see this as a process to then work towards a universal score of life/death. would this be an individual piece, a one-to-one, a collective experience? like to try all of these

For the flickr photos see here

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