A choreography for navigation buoys, sea mines, beach huts, uniformed deck chair ticket inspectors, litter pickers, lifeguards and gallery visitors.
Requiem seeks to evoke a juxtaposition of the extreme, the surreal and the ordinary, being one in which visitors walk barefoot in the sand among colourful windbreaks, striped umbrellas, stranded sea mines and whispered conversations in different languages, all within a gallery or large (derelict) industrial setting. Requiem reminds us that we are rarely more than a hair's breadth away from another world, and one where things are different.
Requiem suspends nine marine navigation buoys in a motorised matrix (3X3) which permits them to slowly pitch and yaw, and rise and fall, as though at sea, but above a sandy beach leading down to the water's edge, which itself leads to an (artificial) horizon, as though an infinity pool. A sea mine lies stranded on the foreshore, entangled in a discarded fisherman's net. Suspended overhead among the buoys are ships' lanterns and navigation lights, which also rise and fall, while small drones in festive attire circulate in light airs. The site is surrounded on three sides by beach huts, to which visitors retreat when the weather turns. At intervals fog descends, with sighs and exhalations. Soap bubbles rise in lighter airs, accompanied by occasional children's playground laughter. Intermittent showers are light to moderate. Umbrellas are optional, albeit available for hire, using oyster shell tokens issued by the management.
A distant soundscape is heard, from offshore, as though at night, consisting, variously, of:
Taps Rap Knocks Rain Wind Seagulls Drips Barks Grunts Laughter German Silence Arabic Muezzins Whistles Coughs Creaks Mandarin Funfairs Applause Thunder Outboards Weeping Car horns Bagpipes Car alarms Promises Saxophones Whispers Ships' Bells Helicopters Aeolian flutes Fog horns News reports Diesel engines Rock anthems Church bells Tango cadenzas Rattling halyards Football scores Passing trains
Occasional words and phrases, from poets such as Plath, Coleridge and EE Cummings, and corporate entities such as Unilever, Armand Hammer and Easyjet, include:
“...Are you ready, Number One?...” “...Ready about...” “... of all the blessings which to man...” “...and fasten your seatbelts...” “...This is your captain speaking...” “...she sent the gentle sleep from...” "...You do not do, You do not do......" "...when you brush your teeth with..." the whole managed by uniformed deckchair attendants and ticket inspectors. Lifeguards scan the beach from an elevated platform while practising their rescue techniques.
As day turns to night coastal scenes are projected onto the beach huts and include night-time reflections of traffic lights, headlights, searchlights, harbour lights, streetlights, lighthouses and funfairs. Some are inverted, in moving or still water, to the low hum of a diesel generator. The fourth side provides an unobstructed view out to sea where the sweeping beam of a lighthouse, coupled with intermittent lightning, comets and glowing orbs, further evoke our curiosity,