Today I decided to get out of Anatum’s Abode and extend my space exploration. I forbade myself to use any of public transport system so I was only walking.
An advantage of such an exploration is its closeness to the city as a physical entity. The city has its solid structure, it is possible to touch it, smell it, see it – in details. You realize if this physical entity is organized logically or not – you perceive its urbanistic execution. One might enjoy all the small (in)consonances, even the tiny changes in atmosphere. The bigger ones even more of course. It is easy to stop for a while and to calmly observe some detail or to work with different speed of walking. Than your feeling is changing again – you might concentrate more on walking itself or try to absorb what surrounds you.
I realized – not for the first time of course – that city is divided into public and private spaces which leads to many difficulties for a walker (or biker, car driver … just the walker could feel the biggest discomfort as he is the slowest of these – so to overcome a wrong path takes him longer time).
Other problems for the walker might be the natural obstacles. Such as a river as I realized today. I walked cca 10 km more (! 5 km on the one side and 5 more when coming back on the other) than I planned because during my walk around the river there was no possible crossing (not counting Emirate Air Lines or Thames Clippers for which you have to pay). So I just walked and walked, looking for an underpath or bridge…and for quite a time there was no such a thing.
For more thoughts about walking and exploring the city see my further posts.
Good night 🙂
For my first two days I decided not to leave the space of Anatum’s Abode at all to explore the atmosphere of it better.
There were two reasons for it.
Firstly I wanted to gather materials and situations possibly useful for a short performance art piece which I executed at the evening of 14th – “Open Your Skull” (see more below).
Secondly I thought this might be an approach how to start working on my “city exploration”. I am interested in a ways how to explore, to feel, to understand a city, especially that kind of a megalopolis like London. My idea was that I could start the research by establishing a base, by understanding of my temporary home. I found different objects and spirits around. I did some exercises and tried to explore the space with as big concentration as possible, breathing and touching the space…
This fast gathered material (because two incomplete days is really not enough for understanding of any space) resulted to the performance mentioned above. I got interested by a history of Anatum’s Abode and about the fact that the building used to be a butcher store. Later on because of the great effort of the people who runs the place it changed into a squatt and cultural place. My action followed a simple story of that transformation. I used a red costume, red glove and red light as well as the knife, candle or ink and by that reffered to the butcher practices (such as killing animals), later on all this practices were overcame, I got released from the heavy red dress and walked away playing a musical instrument. My favourite moment of the piece was me dripping a wax from the candle I was holding with my lips on the tongue of the one of the spectators/listeners. It is nice that when performing in a situation where the distance between the performer and the audience is minimal such things – which one wouldn’t expect at all – might happen.
Some pics from the action
Props (for fun)