Saturday, 2 July 2011


The weather's gone crazy recently. My flatmate says it's become autumn prematurely, but I keep thinking of it as having lapsed back into spring. I got caught in torrential rain a few Friday's back, and it wasn't too great that Sunday either, when I went with friends to the ICA.

The ICA thing I went to with Chris and Claire though was pretty cool, even though my shoes were soaked through by the time we got there (I don't think it had a detrimental effect on the experience). Essentially, through Katie (who is a friend of Chris) we were to experience a 15 minute 'performance' in order to give some feedback. And it was pretty intense.

We took it in turns to enter a room, having first been given an mp3 player and headphones which we were told had instructions on it which we had to follow. In the room was a woman, with parts of her body covered in writing. On the mp3 player were a selection of tracks that began with short monologues about love, reflections on lovers, almost like an internal monologue, at the end of each we were given and instruction to look at a piece of writing on the performer, such as a spot on her stomach where it had been written 'you were the only one I let rest their head here'.

The reason it got progressive intense was because, whilst listening to the voices talking about love I didn't know where to look, whilst all the time the lady looked at me, smiling. I found it hard to gaze into her eyes whilst voices were talking about love without feeling almost hypnotised by the idea of the performer being someone I had been in love with. The longer time went the more immersed I became. It was quite weird - the monologues started to feel like internal monologues, or personal confessions to a lover, whilst the performer was like a canvas onto which to project the idea of a past lover.

Did I enjoy it? I'd say yes, but it felt almost uncomfortable in the moment. It ended with me being asked to write something on her shoulder (the answer to the question 'When was the last time you said I Love You?') after which she asked if she could write something on my arm; in both cases written in invisible ink only visible by ultraviolet light. And no, as both Chris and I later joked, not a phone number. What did I write? Chris found my answer a little sad but in the headspace I was in, thinking about love interests and not my kids, I wrote 'I can't remember.'

So. Yeah. Intense.

I'll probably go to the ICA a bit more off the back of that. I didn't really know the place existed, but there are lots of places around London I've only discovered recently. I'm discovering a lot more of London recently, and just getting to spend more time with friends and creative people, both of which I enjoy doing. Of course it helps that many of my friends ARE creative, in one way or another. In fact MOST of them.

Anyway. Intimate. Coming to the ICA in fully polished mode sometime soon.

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