Last night saw the final live showing of PLACE, the project at Half Moon where some of the key research ideas have been explored over the past 12 weeks or so. What a fascinating couple of evenings at this grand old Half Moon building (soon to be given a reshaped foyer and offices).
This abstract work exploring places of fear and the everyday came together in a rather extraordinary event. A giant toothbrush was suspended above our heads, the screen showed scrawled chalk comments about places feared by youngsters and cornflakes were scattered through the building. Jo Scott and I are sitting puzzling over the resonances of the work – and what it showed us about the key research questions of the enquiry! (See www.challengingplace.org) That curious position of a researcher post-event is to rush to ‘conclusions’, to seek out new knowledge immediately and to justify AHRC funding…
Of course, that won’t happen nor should it but there is something deeply pleasurable about this ‘post-show’ aura of enquiry. The work will yield much matter. I thank our good fortune for having Vishni Velada Billson and Samantha Adams facilitate the practice. Jo talked of collaborative practice in her last blog: this project has been successful because of this ease and generosity of such folk.
And tomorrow, I go to Aberystwyth for a lunch with Cyrff Ystwyth on Sunday at a pub in Bronant. It’s over two weeks since Cyrff Ystwyth performed ‘Capel: the Lights are on’ in – surely unholy – Welsh rain in and outside Bronant’s disused chapel. This was a beautiful work, poignant and evocative. Even though I talked about it briefly in a PSi conference paper at Leeds last week, again, any sense of assimilation of ‘findings’ from the practice as research is a distance away here too. Mags Ames (artistic director of Cyrff Ystwyth) and I keep reassuring ourselves: we can’t think yet!