(FUTILE) FACILITY

Artist in Residence Ulster Museum in assosiation with Catalyst Arts

Belfast 2012

 

I installed myself in the Museum as a living exhibit. For one month I was confined to a beige bedsit, eating only beige food and wearing beige clothes. I constantly watched documentaries to learn about the outside world. In response to this information I made collages, maps, diagrams, friends and interventions using only beige materials. The bedsit changed throughout the experiment reflecting my mental state. Beginning as a slick, ordered utopian environment it soon descended into chaotic squalor, then became a fort and finished off as a semi-organised kingdom. 

1/7
DAY 1 - 10

 

Established rules and a routine. Must watch documentaries about environmental and health issues in the kitchen while eating. In the studio documentaries relating to status and power. In bed Brian Cox tells me about the stars.

 

I find the room relaxing and enjoy discussing elements of the project with staff and visitors to the museum.

 

Begin making collages, maps and diagrams relating to the information I learn from the documentaries and conversations.

 

 

1/7
DAY 11 - 19
 
Collages, notes, diagrams, maps and time lines fill the walls of the room. The routine and rules begin to dissolve.
 
The room has become like a prison. The most difficult thing is being constantly viewed and spoken to by people. I feel trapped and confused. I move all the furniture and build a fort to hide in. Productivity has slowed down considerably. I watch television and sleep most of the day.
 
I dye my hair beige and make companions out of my clothes and foam.

 

1/7
DAY 20 - 28
 
 
I put up a sign telling people to stay out. I realise the fort and mess are too clearly reflecting my state of mind and I feel even more exposed. I rearrange the room for a third time. Now it is tidy but lived in, and has one area which shelters me from view.
 
I begin leaving the bedsit and go into the museum photographing all beige artifacts. I make banners and flags and crowns for myself, my companions, the televisions and my new pet cat. I go out onto the balcony and hang the banners, regaining control of my life.
 
On the last day I am no longer physically in the space. My face can be seen trapped within the television screens.