No Fixed Abode


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Below is a transcript of the performance that we contributed to the Happy Hypocrite event at Spike Island's program Again, a Time Machine in October 2011. This piece was developed with Charlotte Morgan and Cat Moir as part of the wider research project Homeland. Each part represents each writers contribution to the piece, each trying to develop a notion of Homeland.

Instead we have proposed that the fruits of labour can take form. I would go as far to say that our object represents something so intangible that it resists this more so. The object has come about as a response to our relation. Instead we try to restructure our relation to form, dialogue, activity and language and find new ways of doing so and new ways of communicating that. What I take point with is on a purely gestural level it seems to think it subverts a language of form and aesthetics but is instead expanding upon that.

Home. A place. A place of residence. A place of refuge. An abode. A place to abide, habitually: a habitat. A place to dwell, a dwelling. A domicile, domestic environment, a house - hold, a shelter. A board, a lodging, a property. A property? One’s own home. Own place. Our place. Home.

The Mad House is the archetypal 1950’s European watering hole. The floor, is half bare mahogany and half Mondrian-esque tiling, the latter extending seemingly at random up the walls. The room contains opposing walls of terracotta and black grape. Gathered around each round, mahogany table are chairs, with stays arching confidently backwards; never quite in limbo.

Land. The earth. Dry land. Solid ground. Terra firma. Soil. Dirt.

On one of the walls hangs the portrait of a man; adorned in red with huge beard, which, along with a full head of hair and thick eyebrows, leaves little skin on display. On one of the walls hangs the portrait of a man; adorned in black with huge beard, which, along with a full head of hair and thick eyebrows, leaves little skin on display. On one of the walls hangs the portrait of a man; adorned in grey with huge beard, which, along with a full head of hair and thick eyebrows, leaves little skin on display. On one of the walls hangs the portrait of a man; adorned in white with huge beard, which along with a full head of hair and thick eyebrows leaves little skin on display.

…shelves stacked so high overhead that he couldn't see the roof of this cavernous space, let alone count up to the shelf upon which his chosen object was stored. A little unsure at first, he had made the decision to select a palette of blues and greens which, he had been informed by a publication named room refresh, would team well together to create a sense of calm and appear perpetually clean.

All of these figures are enshrined in local and global lore, as all transcended their previous identities. All of these men look down into the Mondrian-esque watering hole. Their gazes comfort, inspire and energize all the men in the room, arching confidently backwards over their chairs. In the room, there are only men.

The estate, the property. The country, realm, domain. The land of hope and glory. To land is to touch down, to return or arrive, somewhere new or…somewhere known.

…he had photographed selections of his own photographs placed together, along with other items to best give a sense of suitable hues. Adam Green he decided was too biblical; French Turquoise a little closer to his own sense of provenance perhaps. Lido Green certainly conjured up an appealing image, but in reality the colour was disappointingly murky.

Homeland. A space or place of origin.

…the walkways formed a grid of unknown proportions, extending into his imagination. Combined with the familiarity of the dimensions of each angle and street corner, his repetitive yet curious journey gave him a feeling of mild exhilaration. Street lamp, chandelier, strip light.

A berth, a birthplace, the mother country, the fatherland. A native land. A harbour. A refuge.

…albera, aria, astratto…

Homeland – security.

…cascade, cluster, ebo…

Each table is engaged. Wine sloshes and stains the papers spread across each table. Christmas shopping lists, esoteric creeds, notes from the day’s sermon and photocopies of mythical fiction are shuffled around. The men later find themselves too pissed, to even care about separating them. They settle for taking a cluster each that had become conveniently bound together by the excess wine, before making their way home.

… he rested in a comforting anonymity. Open planes were a stopping place; certain alcoves provided shelter. He began to understand where he was going and his place in the surroundings that he allowed to create within him a sense of belonging. He enjoyed crates and the gentle curve of plastic designer-look dining chairs..

The journey home, the landing. Familiar and yet somehow strangely always new. Something which shines into the childhood of all and in which no one has yet been.

We have tried to not extradite the notion of form but instead recognise its importance in the structuring of relation and understanding. That is to say that what was once something that imbued its owners with a sense of identity and solidarity, the fruits of their labour now belong elsewhere. What is interesting about this state of becoming is it's intrinsic revolutionary nature, one which allows one to experience. Indeed, in this place where utopias collide, the violence of righteousness becomes the ‘violence of remaining intact’. So let’s say rather than just showing us something beyond that it brings it within our grasp..