Umm, what just happened there? One minute I’m shuffling papers around the desk, contracts, assisting with a call for participants for an artist film shoot to support a new co-commission betweeen Cornerhouse and Turner Contemporary, Margate for Berlin artist Rosa Barba, the next I’m IN the film itself… accompanied by my 83 year-old Dad! Didn’t see this one coming. Filming took place in the previously abandoned Albert Hall, a beautiful Victorian former Methodist Hall with a humongous dust-infused pipe organ, where Rosa instructed our eclectic group of volunteers. We were responding to a limited but intriguing brief that we may well be the last people alive on Earth, and had sought shelter and companionship within… but could no longer step outside. For what reason? Nobody knew. There were mutterings about radiation, infection, TV Licence detector vans.
For two days we allowed ourselves to be placed in position, moulded, modelled and responded to increasingly normalised (yet ever bizarre) requests, creating moving mise-en-scene. All the while exploring the building and poking about the abandoned rooms, tunnels and even bell tower, as the smoke machine created drifts of low-hanging clouds that ebbed, curled and dissipated amongst piles of broken chairs and mannequin legs. To say it was a privilege would be an understatement, not only in terms of access to such a fantastic space, but to spend time with the cast of eccentric local characters, my own Dad now among them. Very much looking forward to the final outcome, but we’ll have to wait until January 2013 for the resulting installation.
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