The Value of Repose

Premiered at the Bush Bazaar, produced by Theatre Delicatessen in association with The Bush Theatre, The Value of Repose (2012) is an audience-activated installation. Located for three weeks in the bar of the Bush Theatre in Shepherds Bush, London, it was part of a group of works comprising the Bush Bazaar, where every nook and cranny of the Bush Theatre building and garden was filled with performances and experiences. Read this lovely piece in the Guardian to hear more about the aims of the Bush Bazaar and it’s producers Jessica Brewster & Roland Smith.

Eight tape measures are attached to the chair, with the text below written on them. To read you pull a tape, in no specific order.

1. The body in repose; allowing the weeds of the unkempt mind to echo, tangle and fragment to re-compose. Tip your chin up slightly. Slowly scan the room. Let your gaze receive colour only. Repose, here, as a place for re-framing and re-connecting.

2. Head on one side. Two swoops of eye-socket to nose, framing wide eyelids. This oval form ongoing. This volume of skull. Simplicity in repose.

3. The weight of the day settles into the seat for the duration of a glass, or  cup, or pint of. The air under your nose doesn’t move much. Your millions of cells continue their intelligent building and shedding. Infinitesimal change: in each cell, shadow, chord of sound. Here is porous, to slowly re-build.

4. There is an interstice between perceiving and meaning-making, a hair’s breadth, or maybe more. In this measurement, an act like a blink to rid the lens of obscured judgement, can happen. Receive the surroundings through your senses. These qualities and textures abound, performing their very presence.

5. Straining your senses to receive. What is the what of the body in anticipation? A certain tone of muscle, force behind the membrane of skin waiting to burst through. Habits of perception. And after the event, the nothingness of mere noticing.

6. There is sound. The cup landing on saucer, revealing the saucer to the cup. Contact and rhythm and density of matter. A wound does not only heal over – tissue and new cells also grow up from the inside. Surface is conversation.

7. Effect the art of sitting. Perfect the art of sitting here. Welcome repose and sit lightly. Neurons manoeuvre in the gills on your brain. This vantage point quietening action, connections being made between here and there. A shift in physical form transforms thought and sensation.

8. Hammock yourself into the chair, recline in a singular semi-conscious place of sinking in. The arcs you form, skin holding in stuff, skin exposed to air. Tissue enfolds bone, new growth of the same material. What is the sensation in the hand that is holding the tape?

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