Sunday, March 17, 2013

all that signified me...

I haven't written in a while, until today, basic posts and publishing drafts of posts that had been sitting there, waiting on me to decide if they were relevant, worth posting, not all of them are, but they are all process, so for that alone they are worth posting.

I haven't written because I was making and presenting the theatrical ritual to mark the end of PROJECT DOWNSIZE: all that signified me... presented as part of THE THEATRE MACHINE TURNS YOU ON: Vol. 3 "A revolution is a change of mind" proudly curated by THEATREclub & Project Arts Centre in January 2013.

Photographer: Naomi Goodman

all that signified me...
Let it all go, out into the world. To be used, valued. Let it all go, enough for everyone, without waste. Gifting what I can't bare to lose, with the message 'Wishing you LOVE & ABUNDANCE & JOY'. Learning to wish that for myself too. Letting it all go, I was aiming for a different life then, I have the right to change how I live. We all do.
all that signified me... is a performative reflection of Project Downsize, a process through which I gave away everything I owned, holding only what I need to live. What do I need to live, HERE & NOW?

The performance ritual of PROJECT DOWNSIZE took place over two nights at Project Arts Centre in January 2013.  
On stage was everything that I still had, all the things which I still carried.  My Grandmothers armchair which lives with my sister now, as I do for the moment, my rucksack containing the clothes that I still have, a laptop bag with current paperwork with a section zipped up tight with a note reading: 


Photographer: Naomi Goodman
Three envelopes for gifting to people I just haven't had the chance to give them to yet; my coffee pot given to me by my very good friend in a moment of crisis; The spiral on the floor was made up of all the letters I'd received from the bank regarding my current mortgage arrears to date, recycled after the event; in the centre of the spiral of life sat my friend's prayer stool which he hadn't collected and so I used for the performance; my camino diary in front of the stool; 2 walking sticks, one found in Annaghmakerrig 2011, one given to me in Annaghmakerrig in 2012 placed on either side of the stool; a wall of negatives (photograph negatives), destroyed after the event, hung alongside my Grandmothers chair:

Wall of Negatives in the making
Research material on homelessness, previous notes on this project and The Good Room by David Mc Williams sat on the floor beside the chair; in the chair cushion a sound installation played my contemplations on ritual, why some things absolutely need to be burnt; my long white skirt for the rituals hung over the back of the chair and functioned as a screen where the photographs and scanning of all the things I used to own played throughout; a live feed camera focused on the chair and projected on the back wall of the theatre; upstage a cordless microphone lay on the floor in a taped out area containing my will, the most recent letter from the bank, my response in writing to them and the picture of my home from the estate agent I bought it from in 2000; in the middle of the back wall a screen projected a film which played throughout the show with images of my home, the precious objects I had to gift, ticket stub collection, lands from my camino diary, images of my pilgrimmage to Santiago in 2011, and an excerpt from Krishnamurti speaking:

Why Don't You Change:

The film concluded with footage taken at my home mid PROJECT DOWNSIZE before renovations took place for renting; a small television upstage played footage of me talking about this project at MAKE in Annaghmakerrig in March 2012 and the Performance Lecture I gave at Sorcha Kenny's Walking We Ask Questions Part 2 during ABSOLUT Fringe 2012.

Photographer: Naomi Goodman

EXTRACTS from the performance ritual: all that signified me...


Installation from the performative reflection of Project Downsize, a process through which Veronica gave away everything she owned, holding only what she needed to live.
She is asking the question "What do I need to live, HERE & NOW?"
Veronica invites you to Project Cube, to experience a performative installation from 8.30pm - 9.40pm where you can walk through the world of Project Downsize at your own pace, see the photos of everything she gave away, look at the letters from the bank that led to the surrender of her home and have a chat with her at 10pm where she will reveal all in her performance lecture "all that signified me..."

Photographer: Naomi Goodman
The Installation was open to the public for about an hour before the show each night and provided the opportunity for people to walk through the space and examine the different elements of the show, in an immersive interactive way, sitting in the chair listening to the rediscovery of ritual and its importance, its function in the downsizing; the opportunity to read through the camino diary seated on the prayer stool in the middle of the spiral of life of letters from the bank; a torch hung from the wall of negatives so that the images could be examined; my rucksack and bag were left open so that what I chose to keep could be viewed, except the sealed section which contained private items; the mapping of the overall project was hung on the wall in the entrance to the space and light so that people could read the wider implications and ongoing research concerns; the film on the television played my explanation and interrogations of what the HERE & NOW project might be filmed at MAKE in Annaghmakerrig in March 2012, and the Performance Lecture at Walking We Ask Questions Part 2. In the centre screen a version of my installation 'Enough Rope' played in homage to Dimitris Christoulas, the Greek pensioner who shot himself in 2012 outside the parliament in Athens in protest of the austerity measures: 

Everything was touchable, readable, watchable and those coming into the space were encouraged to interact with all of the elements at their own pace and in their own way. 
Music that inspired me while working on this show played in the space creating a relaxed yet lively atmosphere conducive to the freedom of the audience to interact in their own way with the elements in the space.  I was also present to speak with and discuss the issues with people who had questions and responses.

Photographer: Naomi Goodman
The Installation was the set for the performance, the performance took place within the Installation.
all that signified me... facilitated the integration of strands of my artistic practices to date: installed theatre, sound installation, writing and live performance.

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