Thursday, June 12, 2008

Saturday in Falmouth

The Moor. Saturday. People with large knitting needles were knitting with shredded carrier bags.

One of the people had knitted a chair.

Someone else had knitted a woman.

Whether she really wanted to be unravelled, or to hear the complete works of Bob Dylan being played by a succession of tag-teaming buskers behind her, I'm not sure.

She didn't say anything.

Or move.

Here are the knitters, making single bags out of many bags (I thought it probably better not to point this out).

As I joined the main street (really two streets - Market Street and Church Street) roars could be heard. Also: seagulls, insects, and exotic birds; perhaps an elephant. Being sounds, I was unable to photograph them.

Other corroborating evidence of their existence was also lacking: my fellow shoppers and idle wanderers seemed to be ignoring the unfamiliar soundscape.

First the knitters, now this. Troubling.

Yet pleasingly disorientating. Like being in one place but with the soundtrack to another.

Some say Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon is a perfect alternative soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz. But this wasn't like that. The bricks weren't yellow. And none of the short people were singing.

A few minutes later, I was in the middle of sending a text message when a pink Cadillac drove past, down the non-yellow brick road. It contained three people in 50s regalia, and for a brief few moments Rock 'n' Roll could be heard mingling with the seagulls, the lions and the elephants, and the silence of short people.

The car was gone before I could photograph it.

By now I was at The Poly. An exhibition by the Wooden Hand Collective looked interesting. I decided to wander in.

In a kitchen, hiding from the Box Office people who wanted a cut of everything sold, I bought a card. It was Mandrake 5 by Tarkus Blackmore - he has no net presence so I can't link to it. You'll just have to take my word that this happened.

It occurs to me now that I don't really remember there being a kitchen in that gallery before... But never mind. There probably isn't. It was probably just some room with lots of kitcheny things in. This of course would also be quite an accurate description of a kitchen.

Again, never mind.

Leaving the possibly non-existent kitchen, and then the rather more definitely existent gallery, I was pointed towards an upstairs gallery by a sign proclaiming "Live Art." Had I been looking at dead art? It certainly hadn't moved. Or perhaps if I ventured upstairs I would have the chance to live art? I wasn't sure if I'd done that before (I had definitely drawn things sometimes, and had presumably been alive at the time, but I figured that this probably didn't count as art).

Intrigued, I soon found myself trying to open a locked door.

There was no mystery; I simply had the wrong room. In the correct room, the walls were adorned with sheets of A4 paper printed with people's memories of cars beneath different shades of car paint. I decided the work lacked balance. Where were the cars' memories of people? Maybe the printer cartridge ran out.

In a corner, was a monitor. It was showing someone's feet.

Next to it, on a windowsill were scattered what appeared to be progammes of events. Indeed, this was exactly what they proved to resemble - perhaps representational art was not dead, after all? Further observation revealed the evident trouble someone had gone to: programme dates and times had been made to match with this exact weekend, and like a mirror held up to a mirror, reflecting on into infinity, this work itself even listed the exhibits I was stood amongst at that very moment.

Someone had dreamed up countless other events for it to list too.

I had to have one!

Possibly disturbing the artfully random arrangement, I quickly slipped one into my bag and left. No-one noticed.

No-one else was there.

Supposing that perhaps other events listed might exist too, I followed a helpfully included map and soon found myself watching two girls in overalls feeding each other jelly and ice cream with long spoons. A cassette player tried in vain to convince me that I was at a children's party, rather than in a white room amongst mostly non-children, mostly looking serious.

Once the girls had stopped, the serious looking people began to applaud. I wasn't quite sure why. Hadn't the girls failed in their task? Look how much food was still uneaten:

And the ice cream had melted.

I suppose it was kind of a hot day, though.

Downstairs another monitor was showing feet.

I went back upstairs. In an empty room a bicycle orchestra had failed to turn up. In another empty room a woman told me that there was nothing to see there. I didn't point out the empty room to her. Or that she was in it. In still another room someone was making fruit cocktails - they weren't for me. I tried another door.

In the dark, on a projector screen, some kind of meat construction was squirting milk and roaring in slow motion. Hoping it wouldn't do this for too long, I sat down and watched.

After this, feet were shown. They looked cold. This time they were in the rain.

In a series of fixed camera shots: a toddler could be seen doing undignified things to a cat, a small dog patiently and lengthily standing on two legs was ignored by people watching Eastenders, and two cats fought while another five ignored them. Eventually, a dog knocked the camera over.

Another fixed camera shot showed us a post-smoking ban game of drive-in Bingo. In Ireland, in smoke-filled cars unsociable people sat listening to numbers. A horn sounded. Someone had won. I wasn't sure who.

Next, we saw an artist showing his father his work (stick around until 00:34, or fast forward to it if you're squeamish).

Last, the feet again. And two hands pretending to be feet. I left.

Atop feet; smallish but real.

Apparently, feet are inescapable. Especially your own. No matter how fast you run. There's probably a message in that somewhere...

Either that, or an elaborate defence for foot fetishists.

[Something resembling an explanation. Oh, and the sounds of the Serengeti were being played from speakers in the windows of flats above the shops].


miss-cellany said...

Thought I was the only one who heard those animal noises as, yes, everyone else seemed oblivious.

Was actually cycling with (little wizard of) Oz on the back, so figured that might explain it. Perhaps, if I'd gone home and changed into ruby red slippers it would have all made sense*...

[*actually the lovely lady in Falmouth Bookseller did hear the noises too, and had been hearing them all day long...]

Anonymous said...

chair looks comfy, at least.

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

It may also be one of the few chairs that rustles (not livestock).

Probably not great for hot days either...