So I made the piece about rejection inspired by the email I got from the Arts council on Tuesday re my second application this year, this time for the Covid 19 artists fund.
Initially as I wrote in my last piece I am used to getting letters of rejection. In fact there’s an email just come into my in box re a submission I made which I don’t have the mental wherewithal to open yet as its probably another rejection 🙂
As said last post, this time when faced with rejection I felt compelled to take action. I usually do fell compelled to take action, but don’t always have something- an action- that fits to respond with right away. So therefore responding to rejection usually means a high intensity workout. But this time in a serendipitous turn of events I had an idea for a piece that fitted my situation.
I got the hoover-hairdryer slipstream piece id previously referred to made. Called ‘Caught in the slipstream’. Thinking about slipstreams.
“A slipstream is a region behind a moving object in which a wake of fluid (typically air or water) is moving at velocities comparable to the moving object, relative to the ambient fluid through which the object is moving. … “Slipstreaming” or “drafting” works because of the relative motion of the fluid in the slipstream.” (Wiki)
Was thinking I would read/shout out my letter of rejection as the piece of dialog for the piece. Allow the words, which symbolise the rejection, to be sucked into the slipstream. It takes the power of the rejection away, turns it into something else. Theres a nice ephemeral quality to the gesture. I bought a hairdryer last week to make this piece when I saw them in Aldi. We have a borrowed hoover. Problem- not enough room at home. Need a space to film. With a white wall behind. This is solvable. Note to self- do not think too much- just do.
I went to my photographer friend Paul to film the piece. See below. He has a studio so I had the white space I needed. I wanted the sound to be the dominating factor in the piece. Hairdryer blowing hot air, loud sucking hoover, drowning out my voice. I sped it up again as I want to heighten the babel-ish connotations. Tower of Babel- many confusing hard to decipher voices. The voice does not matter anyway, it’s the gesture. I’m interested in the fact that we remember approximately very little of what we hear. My theory being the gesture is more memorable than what is being said anyway so I am highlighting the gesture and exaggerating the words.
“After a short delay, conversational participants may recall from memory fewer than 20% of the specific ideas that were originally expressed.” (https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6483/a50e33bdf678b4ec6ad79d599aa7d3202a6d.pdf)
The important thing is to keep making work when I can, and not to cogitate too much about the making, just do it in whichever way it can be done. I think of these as art actions, a thought that has been visualised and materialised.