You Are Here & That Is Something, At Least (2012) HD Digital Video | Score by Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau – 27 Minutes
Globe Gallery, Newcastle, UK 09/11/2012 - 22/12/2012
Commissioned by Rashida Davison for Globe Gallery.
Developed by Ben Jeans Houghton in collaboration with a group of individuals from various specialisms, who volunteered their time to this project, ‘You Are Here & That Is Something’ discusses the potential of shared, yet intersubjective, experience and creation at the outset of a new and exciting programme of Globes future exhibitions.
‘You Are Here & That Is Something’ Is an Exhibition of Film, Photography, Sculpture and Writing that focuses on the site and identity of Globe Gallery itself, made in collaboration between Ben Jeans Houghton and a group of Globe’s Volunteers. Through a series of generative workshops focusing on Site Specificity, Written & Spoken Narrative, Memory, Photography and Film, the ideas at the core of the show were formed in unison as a group; creating an open and questioning research environment in which to investigate Globe’s participatory nature and the building in which it resides.
‘You Are Here & That Is Something’ investigates ways to highlight the viewer’s imagination, investment and understanding, during the process of looking, reading and listening, through the creation of collaborative writing, and image making. Using the skills and knowledge bases represented by the individuals of the group, a process of writing emerged in response to the environment of the gallery and key topics of discussion1. In turn, this reciprocal process of writing and exchange seeded the narration at the centre of the film ‘YOU ARE HERE & THAT IS SOMETHING, AT LEAST’ from which the show’s title is taken.
Through group discussion alternative ways of experiencing the past became a central research focus. Folkloric prose and poetry formed the foundation of discussions into ways of communicating something abstract through creative writing. Inspiration was drawn from the momentum of free association, the structure of the exquisite corpse and practices ascribed to ‘the unknown’2 including dreaming and spiritual mediation. Wanting to experience first hand the environments in which specific aspects of these ideas operate the group contacted The Spiritual Evidence Society to inquire about attending their Open Circle Evenings3. With a focus on observing first hand how narrative and meaning are formed through dialogue between medium and audience - analogous to the relationship between art/ist and audience - the group hoped to discover something illuminating.
Fully informed of the sentiment with which the group would be attending - Open minded observation to inform the creation of collaborative art - the society welcomed the group to attend the Open Circle. What followed was ten days of looking, speaking, singing, writing, and making as a group in and about Globe made through research within and beyond its walls.
‘You Are Here & That Is Something’ is about the space created between acts of looking, remembering and imagining, into which we pour meaning; the otherness of experience and the moments in which we recognise its face.
| Footnotes |
1. Poetic Communication | Suspended Disbelief | Collaboration | Field Research | Investment & Imagination
2. ”The unconscious is the true psychical reality; in its innermost nature it is as much unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is as incompletely presented by the data of consciousness as is the external world by the communications of our sense organs.” Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, 1900.
“The non-seeing of a thing is an adherence to sight, Passing clouds cover the radiance of the sun. The not-knowing of a thing is an adherence to knowledge, A bolt of lightning penetrates the emptiness of the room. Something suddenly occurs what you know and see, all thinking is unfashionable. Recognise in thought that your thinking is false, only then, can the inner light glow within you.” Hui-Neng, 7th Century.
3. An Open Circle resembles a Séance, but omits mediating objects or the cover of darkness. Within this open environment mediums stand up from the circle and deliver messages to the seated audience, often beginning with abstracts of memory, imagery and names.
Bowl and Table used in hand cleansing before healing is applied, Cliff's photo's of ghosts on his phone, A cardboard Spirit trumpet used in closed Seánce, Cliff who has talked to huge banks of colour in the sky since his wife passed, A painting in the hall of the Newcastle Spiritual Evidence Society.