I am on my way home after two weeks in Belgium. Last night we premiered Schrodinger in Bruges. I am thinking about journeys. The journey we make from outside to inside, in control to out of control, order to chaos, tidy to untidy, and from dry to wet. The performance uses a lot of water and this was the first time that Kevin sprinkled us with watering cans at the end. We are all engaged in our final acts of drawing on the box with chalk, manically trying to leave our trace, as the water begins to fall and then we stop. In the original version, there was a very clear journey for each performer and we started by reenacting this journey.
As Tim, I would enter the box with a briefcase, adjust the chair (Tim’s persona was fastidious about furniture), sit at the table, adjust the table, open the briefcase, find a hammer, throw it into the corner, then put a tablecloth over my head. At this point in the video, Tim runs out of the box with the tablecloth on his head and goes to the bookshelf upstage to fetch something – chalk? Then returns and writes on the briefcase and then the table and then stops when the watering cans start to shower him from above. I was working with this performance score for some time, consciously copying Tim’s route even though the moment when he runs to the bookshelf might have been a mistake. His mistake has become my deliberate action. His accident my choreography.
Last night however, I traced a new route. I started to draw on the briefcase ‘This is a chair’ and then wrote numbers on the table. With the tablecloth on my head I started to draw a spiral on the table until someone (Mole?) moved the table away which made me fall to the floor. When I fell to the floor I was scrabbling for more chalk and drawing more spirals. Spirals feature heavily towards the end. I draw them on the proscenium arch as Mole and Leen spin around. I was lying on the floor in the position Leen and Kevin falls into, tracing the spiral, drawing around myself, when the water started to fall from the watering cans.
The tablecloth wound itself tightly around my neck from the spiralling action and I couldn’t breathe. The wet tablecloth was being sucked in and out with every breath and I realised I was no longer an image of Magritte’s mother drowning with her dress over her head but I was being waterboarded. When I spoke to Mole about this, he said that this reenactment makes him think of change and that image meant it means something today that it could not mean then. So when I walk out to the front at the end. I see the chalk. The water. The briefcase that says ‘This is a chair’. The spiral in the centre. The tablecloth. I see my journey. The box has become a map of everywhere I’ve been. It retains our journeys. And now we are taking it on tour it will contain the history of each performance. As it still resonates with each performance within it 10 years ago.