Episode 4 of the day of the triffids : Shadows before. James Bullimore, Ziad Nagy, Eva Wilkinson
Private view Thursday 21 September 2017, 6 – 9pm
Performance Thursday 28 and Friday 29 September at 7.30pm
Exhibition open Saturdays and Sundays, 12 to 6pm to 29 October 2017
1) In which Josella, who can still see, has been tied against her will by a blind man, and forced to guide him… In which having been freed from this ordeal she returns home with Bill to find a scene of devastation. In which both finally turn from shocked viewers and uncomprehending observers into active protagonists. Now, this is about survival.
2) Eva Wilkinson, James Bullimore and Ziad Nagy are each presenting new works and performance, related to their own practice, unrelated to the novel. I have not seen these works. As curator, I am that coercive blind man led by the seeing.
3) The imposition (or super imposition) of John Wyndham’s narrative onto the artworks, that this text promotes, is a surplus reference to the exhibition itself. But in doing so the text makes evident the potential -and the viability- of concurrent narratives: to paraphrase Bergman, an invitation to the audience to dispose freely of what is put at their disposal.
4) The novel was written a long time ago, a time of mounting global geopolitical tensions, of countries asserting their might through nuclear tests, of raging war in Korea and, with Operation Wetback, the US ramping up the mass repatriation of millions of Mexican people. The current context provides a grim scenography.
5) As goes the wizard’s warning: ‘Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of day! / For dark and despairing my sight I may seal, / But man cannot cover what god would reveal / ’tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore, / and coming events cast their shadows before’.
6) Optimism prevails, as indeed optimism wants. We persist in believing our endeavours are a valid alternative to the socio-economic logic, when they might just be its validation. For a moment we fool ourselves that freedom gained is acquired for good. We change tack. We cut our wins. We make inconsistency our ally: breaking the continuum is the only modus operandi against intellectual death. This is about personal survival.