Rooms - Notes, Sketches and Work in Progress
Room layout - click to enlarge. Simple 3-screen structure & projections
Archive footage - erasing human presence (a presence of absence) - click to enlarge
Mr. Joseph left hundreds of treasured old 78s when he died. The format is so obsolete hardly anyone can play them now. Rob has made them into a series of loops, each one represents a room, a chapter in a house. Incidentally, as well as a verse, stanza can also mean room; a standing place, a stopping place.
My grandparents died last year. When I dream of their house it is still as it was when I was 8 - spanning the whole building with a long corridor across the whole length of it, two sets of stairs we could chase around and a room full of trinkets and relics. When I lay in the bedroom at a certain time of day I could see the cars moving below projected onto the ceiling – the angle of the light made a crude camera obscura. It had been two houses that divided and expanded as their family grew, then divided again for their son, their portion gradually diminishing and becoming more modest as their lives and movements reduced. They both died at home within months of each other. Now that they are gone, the relics of nearly a century have been divided up and sold and their house doesn’t exist apart from one room stuffed with photos. I have kept a few fragments from there. It felt like I was rescuing something. I think of their lives expanding and contracting; a building inhaling and exhaling. My childhood memory of the building remains the most vivid—the remembered rooms imprinted on the geometric layout. How can secret rooms, rooms that have disappeared, become abodes for an unforgettable past? The house image becomes the topography of our intimate being.
She was born in the Royal hospital, but now there is nothing left of it but a facade. Not even a shell of the building, just a two dimensional flattened plane of what it once was. A whole spatial axis knocked flat, and re-expanded. My friend’s mother lived in one of the luxury apartments they built from it. Do the people who live in the flats that once were sites of hospitals, churches, schools... do they feel the presences of these lives? Of these moments? Of these lost rooms? Of these microcosmic universes carried around in countless people’s heads - evolving over years and extinguishing as we die? Do the buildings and sites themselves hold imprints of what they once were, what they could have been- all of their infinite possibilities stretching forward and intertwined with the unrealised histories that might have been?
There is not time, not anymore. This is nowhere, and forever...
Moodboard: Sketches, research images and WIP - click to enlarge: