A table, a tabard and a brush
Prepare is the second fragment of a durational movement response in and around the big table. In an earlier blog post I wrote about my travels with Pauline Ogg, a cleaner in the Daysh building and how she eased the social space. My many layers of clothing , topped with a grey tabard like over dress combined with a broom afforded me a similar social easing capacity as the video clip demonstrates.
There is something about cleaning, ordering, rearranging the space which embeds you in it, puts you in the rhythm of it. The man who is emptying bins is somehow with us as we go about our business receiving and being in time . We are simultaneously together, apart. There is a sense of us all witnessing each other but no need for a formal nod or greeting....we are being and doing together. It is an ambiguous space that has always reminded me of the sorts of spaces I encounter in churches where there is a familiar formality and a gathering suggested by a table/altar with pew like benches, an invitation to commune, to take time perhaps? Taking time is increasingly rare in our always switched on, connected technological world and yet I regularly find people sitting here , often alone. I have been told to be quiet here on a number of occasions and it is regularly populated by people who are quietly sitting, looking, gazing into space. It is a place of unburdening, where you can take the weight off your feet, put down your bags and take a moment here...together apart, separate and connected. Although you cannot see them, there is someone sat in a corner quietly watching, witnessing looking though layers of glass, shifting between the inside outside space, here but not here.....
"thresholds form an interface between two quite different spatial, perceptual and social realms. Outside in public space people are suddenly exposed to new and diverse stimuli, to unstructured encounters with strangers, to freedom, anonymity and risk. Inside in relatively private spaces, ambience is regulated and social behavior and encounters are more
carefully structured" (Norberg-Schulz 1971; Markus 1993; Dovey 1999)
Apologies for the wobbling camera which goes between being on my body and resting on