AND HERE WE GO AGAIN, WE KNOW THE START, WE KNOW THE END
You’ve been walking around for a few hours now. Three black taxi cabs will pass in front of you from your left. Tilt up and take in the building facade. There you go, that’s it recording. It’s a very fine building. The idling of a waiting car. There are voices. There are people. A man on a bike wearing a blue waterproof coat passes you. He cuts across the path of a woman with a white plastic carrier bag. She is followed by someone thinking about last night. Suddenly, you are overexposed. PULL BACK. Fall back, back into yourself. Just getting it in focus, please bear with me.
You are on ‘street’, crossing over, arriving at ‘door’. Turn your attention to the door that wasn’t there before. Remain fixated. Ignore the crowd, let them push past. Ignore the metallic line of a lamppost at the edge of your perspective. You feel hardly visible as you hold your shifting vigil. FOCUS. Not on your reflection in the glass but on the woman. The woman sinking downwards and towards you. Reaching out, she slows, held up as if underwater. This is it. Can you see?
WE CAN TAKE FOREVER JUST A MINUTE AT A TIME
PULL UP now again to the building whose roof is covered in asphalt and pitch and pigeon shit and the telephone wires that tower you out. You swing round looking down onto the street, the man on a bike, the lamppost and the woman getting into the waiting car.
CUT TO you pass through a series of spaces that ought to be more and more interior, whereas instead you find yourself more and more outside. Find a position. FADE OUT a stack of black plastic chairs. Don’t worry if you don’t notice them. You mentally erase parts you have decided not to take into consideration.
Okay come in now. You step out. Step out in front of your dying shadow. Push yourself right out. Out and into a space. You have the sense it is occupied by something other than your presence. A space that apparently cannot contain only you, isolated in your interior time. The space is ‘room’. The room is a room you have seen before. You know this room.
TIME MARCHES ON, JUST CAN’T WAIT
The room notices you, it realises you have arrived. Quiet on cans please. And then there is an interruption in the continuity of time, the room is no longer what it was before. Standing by. Somewhere to the left side of the room, in position. Somewhere to the right side of the room, in position. Somewhere there is a boundary. On one side is ‘what was’. On the other ‘next’. HOLD.
Take your first steps inside. TRACK the white curtains. Longitudinal warps running and the weft crossing you. One. Two. One. Two parallel balls of light ahead. Their beam creates overexposed patches of building, street, stairs, glass door, dashboard, steering wheel. You are the white headlights in the second lane. Smoothly move from right to left, onto the woman inside as she drifts forward. Filter in the noise from the street behind you. The motor turning. The indicator like the ring of a telephone.
THE MIRROR STARES YOU IN THE FACE AND SAYS “BABY, UH, UH, IT DON’T WORK”
You see everything in parts. You can see each part. You reflect each part. The waking with a start, the kicking off the bed covers, the closing of the door. TILT UP suspended they found it covered with a thick layer of grey dusty time.
It's difficult to tell how much you are picking up. White balloons at varying degrees of exhaustion. A bed with slightly irregular not metric proportions. You float above it’s crumpled white sheets. PULL right in, right back, filter the low hum of an illuminated sign. Then become aware of the pressure. The pressure in the small of a back. The loose tobacco and a lit cigarette resting in a black ashtray. PAUSE. Follow a leg, a trailing arm, the top of an ear and a wisp of hair. Now you’ve found it.
Ignore the rest, the rest is soft focus.
OOOOH, FALLIN’ FREE, FALLIN’ FREE, FALLIN’ FREE
PULL FOCUS. Move away. But keep yourself dead centre. Float through the room to the door ajar. It breathes open, softly. Behind the door is a brick wall. Lean back lean into me move through the wall. Melt into its coldness. Eventually, after holding its breath the door closes and a light flickers off. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
There’s always a side door into the dark.
YOU KNOW THE DOOR TO MY VERY SOUL
FOCUS, FOCUS. Let its ringing sound fill up your ears. At the end of the bed you pick up feet forming into distressed mounds, bulging into a frantic kick, conditioned by the will of this object that is calling.
Ringer speaker, small speaker. There are all the transistors. The cradle is not interesting. Someone put tape there, keeping it fixed. The wires go through here and here. There is the main speaker, the one you put your ear up to when you’re talking to somebody. There is the microphone. There is that automatic button that will hang up when you put the phone down.
It is possible or at least conceivable that you may be called by this telephone. If you were to answer it, you would hear a voice and it would say; you are wanted on the telephone.
AS I RECALL IT ENDED MUCH TOO SOON
You concentrate and think of a place in every detail, a setting where you would like to be at this moment. A world that you would like to begin existing around you. For example, a cafe terrace lined with mosaic tables, ashtrays and steaming cups.
REARRANGE. For example, a bedroom floor, crumpled sheets, jettisoned shoes.
REARRANGE. For example, a car ride home, the stutter of red brake lights, the breath between words.
REARRANGE. For example, a water stained vase, enduring white flowers, the spite of a slammed door.
REARRANGE. For example, a balcony full of faces, a glance from behind.
REARRANGE. For example, a steady ticking watch, a wrist in devotion.
Your gaze digs between the handwritten words to try to discern what they outline in the distance. In the space and time that extends beyond the words ‘coffee cup’.
THEY SAID IT REALLY LOUD, THEY SAID IT ON THE AIR
Find your way along a low resistance path. You are a good conductor. You are ready to catch a voice that makes itself heard when you least expect it. A voice that comes from somewhere beyond the conductor, from beyond the insulator, from the unsaid. A voice that has not yet said anything of itself and does not yet have the words to say. Number, please?
Pulses pass through into the surrounding air and towards your ears. The voice and its driving force only the desire to narrate, to pile stories upon stories, an entangling of cables, connections and switches. Fade in the street, and the sound of the car motor turning. The story resumes its interrupted progress.
I KNEW YOU WERE ALWAYS THERE, YOU WERE MY SONG
Now from that moment, time changes shape, the night expands and becomes a single night, a single night that reaches its climax in this room. And you are here, right here. You are exactly here, here in this room. Are you reading or daydreaming? What are you doing? Are you participating? Aren’t you going to resist?
You are really throwing yourself into it aren’t you?
You are the absolute protagonist of this room.
You listen to the sound of steps leaving the apartment, to the sound of the fluctuation of a fan, to the click of a car door opening, like a telephone hanging up. You listen to the high, the medium and the low. There is the edge of your ear, a wisp of your hair, holding a lit cigarette between your fingers, its smoke rising, your lips moving in the rearview mirror as if speaking, as if speaking the voice of someone else.
Fri 12 July — Sun 18 August 2019
Developed and produced by Carrie Skinner with Romany Dear, Michael Ebert-Hanke, Andy Edwards, Sinead Hargan, Ross Mann, Alexander Storey Gordon, Jen Sykes and Titan Props Glasgow.