A choreography for navigation buoys, sea mines, beach huts and uniformed deck chair attendants.
Introduction Requiem seeks to evoke an atmosphere which combines the surreal with the ordinary, being one in which participants can walk barefoot in the sand among whispered conversations in different languages and from different periods in the recent past.
Installation Requiem suspends nine 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. Suspended overhead among the buoys are ships' lanterns and navigation lights, which also rise and fall. 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, with occasional childrens' playground laughter. Intermittent showers are light to moderate. Umbrellas are optional, albeit available for hire.
Soundscape 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 repeated words and phrases 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, anymore, black..." "...when you brush your teeth with..." the whole managed by uniformed Edwardian deckchair attendants and ticket inspectors. At times lifeguards scan the beach from an elevated platform while practising their rescue techniques and exercising their calves and biceps.
Video projection. At night coastal scenes, projected onto the bathing huts, 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, as though an infinity pool.