I need a museum
for storing the dream's
britller particles in. Time
is a main road, eternity
the turning that we don't take.
From The Signpost, R. S. Thomas.
A sort of event within an event (eventception, anyone?), yesterday at Settlement I also got the opportunity to dash upstairs in Spit and Sawdust to view Mike Tooby's "idea of a possible museum" in Storio - Store, which consisted of a collection of objects on loan from artists, organisers and friends from past Made in Roath festivals. In a free hour before Jenny Savage had us blowing Roath away, I managed a solo viewing of this exhibition - woo! Mike explained a little bit about it beforehand, including his reasons for choosing Spit and Sawdust as a venue; the skate park is located in a unit as part of an industrial estate, and this called back to the Welsh sense of industry, of storing things and of keeping things safe. Not only that, the skate park is notoriously boisterous in comparison to the utter silence and stillness contained within the exhibition.
Before I walked inside, Mike asked me to keep a couple of things in mind:
- Imagine the way we value things from the past, how they live in the present and why we keep things safe for the future.
- How can we remember the past Made in Roath festivals?
With those thoughts buzzing around in my mind and a handy handlist (heh) to explain the date an object was used and the name of its owner, I stepped into Storio - Store out of the vibrant, arty chaos of Settlement and skaters. It was cool, still and utterly quiet; even my footsteps sounded obnoxious.
This is my very first Made in Roath so I had the strange advantage of going in blind, never having attended the events that the objects were attached to. What I found was a starkly simple exhibit of carefully labelled and bubblewrapped 'memories', if you like. (The handlist was an essential part of the exhibit, might I add). And something very peculiar happened.
Even though I had no prior knowledge of these souvenirs or their context, I could imagine hearing and smelling and seeing the memories housed behind the muffled plastic; song books and prompts and jugs and even a parasol from the late Kim Fielding used as part of Naked Lunch in MiR 2012. In the silence, these echoes suddenly became loud again.
I have no pictures of this exhibit, unfortunately, but I don't consider this a bad thing - it's something that you really need to see for yourself. I recommend dropping in if you can, especially if you've attended previous festivals. It would be interesting for someone to experience a shared memory rather than my going-in-blind approach.
Ciao for now!