Saturday, 29 January 2011

note to self

I got a letter from myself this morning. I wrote it in 2006 in the G39 Gallery in Cardiff as part of a work by artist Jennie Savage. I vaguely remember I had gone into the gallery to meet someone and come across the exhibition by chance. I scribbled the letter out as I was waiting for them. I didn't know how long I would be waiting. The letter ended abruptly when the person arrived.

I wrote whatever came to mind in those few minutes. It's a strip of consciousness cut out of five years ago and delivered to me on a cold Saturday, after breakfast. There are two other strangers in the room with me. They seem to be nervous. One is playing with their mobile phone. They look at the exhibit but don't write a letter. I'm aware of them, and a list of other jobs that flit through my memory. Always lists of jobs to do. Flowers. Jobs still at the back of my memory-list five years later.

I photograph the letter this morning: the stamped impression, the fragments of the text. Photographing it makes me start to read down the text in columns rather than in a linear way. It goes like this:

he's talking
present this

when I go and put some
yesterday. Why
the text

I spoke
some flowers

In the five years since I created the letter I have thought about that afternoon several times and waited for the letter to return. It surprised me this morning. I thought it would be longer coming. 2015, or something like that. I think I liked it more as an im-material memory than a material object sitting on the table in front of me.

Maybe it's time to throw it away.

This is no reflection on piece itself, Savage's work has created a longevity of reflection for this participant, I have returned to the idea time and again to since its creation.

A couple of years ago when I found fifteen-year-old undeveloped rolls of film hidden amongst a drawer of detritus, I realised that here was another time machine waiting to suprise me. I blogged the photos here. Since then I have been occasionally stashing rolls of film about the house to be found and developed at some undecided point in the future.

Note to self: must take some more films and add them to the pile.

For Jenny's reflections on the project look here.

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