Here I Am
(Taiteliatalo, Uto, Finland, 2014)
Performance.30th October 2014 at 4pm
Taiteiliatalo was built under Russian rule in the 1910s with the main function of being a telegrapher’s house.
How we communicate or try to, with the world outside of the mind, exploring and coping with ideas of isolation, the struggle of communication and the voice of the individual.
Uto : The rejection of the mainland and the romantic ideal of living on an island within a community which shared similar history or values tainted by the army occupying areas of the landscape with tanks, towers and concrete bunkers. Inhabitants seemed to breathe the sea air and walk under the stars alone. The lighthouse, which was the heart of the island, a way of reaching out beyond the waves, was closed off to all.
The performance began with a reading from the Miracle of Dialogue by Reul L. Howe:
“Dialogue is to love, what blood is to the body. When the flow of blood stops, the body dies. When dialogue stops, love dies and resentment and hate are born…
To say that communication is important to human life is to be trite, but that bit of triteness witnesses to an invariable truth: communication means life or death to persons. A study of the nature of communication is needed in this day of mass communication. On a colossal scale never known before and with technical aids that surpass the wildest imaginings of yesterday’s science fiction, man can be bombard his fellow man’s mind, feelings and will with a subtleness and effectiveness which is frightening…
From the very beginning of the individual’s life it is communication that guarantees its continuation.”
Following this reading, I voiced the Morse code for ‘Here I Am’ using my breath. The short stops being a quick inward breath through the nose, and the dashes, a longer outward breath through the mouth. I carried the rhythm of this Morse sequence through the house, starting by knocking on the front door and working my way through each room with the audience listening behind the gate outside.
Thanks to Ulla and Debe.