The Riddle Riddles
gilded stick, video projection, happening
This work was installed during our MA Interim Show. You can see more information about it here. This was my first time conducting a live performance to go with my work and the build-up towards it was as great as it was on the opening night. Although not as obviously displayed during the live happening, the seven participants stood for the seven ancient planetary forces during an alchemical occurence. Each would walk around the space during the opening night, in search of their planetary pigment hidden by me amongst the works, and upon finding them, apply them to their bare hands and feet, and return back to the source, the gilded stick, to complete the transformation.
To everyone's wonder, there were no clashes when it had come to each selection of the planet. Whatever planet they had chosen had suited them. Mercury was a petite and elegant woman with white hair, Mars a strong and energetic man, the Sun a relaxed and present man, Venus a warm and positive woman, Jupiter a quiet and regal-like woman, the Moon a soulful woman, and Saturn a possessor of leadership.
In preparation for their encircling of the space in search for their pigment, I asked them to listen to Gustav Holst's planets and in particular to their own planet's composition. I also gave them an image each taken from Solomon Trismosin's manuscript Splendor Solis.
Our last meeting prior to the happening had involved them walking around a room in circles, applying features they think is manifest in their planetary force in a subtle manner.
The video and photos are a minuscule documentation of the happening on the night of the 26th of March.
PS: The title was taken from Heidegger's statement 'The thing things'.
Installation photo taken by Andrew Bailey.
Backstage with the planetary forces, shortly after the happening.
Photos taken by myself.