February 23, 2008

Ideas for a Narratorium

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou

My Narratorium: Taking one from their everyday experiences and activities and placing them in a particular place, a different time, where each space encourages them to express their thoughts and experiences to others through a narrative.

Narratorium Site

February 14, 2008

A Monday

Every day you run through time. Never noticing the daylight, then the darkness passing. You just ‘drive’ though it, but are you part of it? Sometimes, one doesn’t notice the life in which they live. Time is not a line one can quickly pass through. If time were a line, we would only be living in the present, but at any one point you think and are influenced by the past, or constantly run to the future.
So, there is this space, on the corner of Broadway and Madison, in the city of Portland. Where people reside to one side, go to a flower-shop on the other, watch a theater performance or visit the Oregon Historical Society across the street. But most of all, people just run by on weekday mornings as they are late for work, or sit in their car in the afternoons stuck in traffic, only thinking about one thing, how to get home faster for dinner and some personal time.
What is personal time? Why do people hurry so fast through days for it? What is it in that 'personal' time that gives them some sort of satisfaction? Work for money in order to have enough money for a vacation afterwards, or so one can live in luxury (their own definition of luxury). Has everyone forgotten what is the point of all the work?
So, in this space, on the corner of Broadway and Madison, is a structure...and a person is walking fast by it….
...You are hurrying to grab a quick cup of coffee before your full day of work, and are obliged to step into this coffee shop, since it's right on the way, while constantly looking at your watch in order to make it to work on time.
As you walk in to the coffee shop, at first you notice the general: coffee tables, people sitting, reading the paper, or chatting with each other. As you step in line to order a cup of coffee, you start looking around. You look towards the back wall and notice artwork displayed on a glass wall. You follow the glass wall and the paintings up and see the paintings on canvas change to shelves containing books and audio and video recordings. Higher, against the glass wall, are ramps, which end at different levels. Each level holds something different…people constantly moving through the ramps. By this time, it is your turn to order. The Barista asks what you would like to drink and after your response, she points to the back wall and says you should go look at a painting while your coffee is being poured. She says that a painting has been drawn of you, and even a story has been written. Curiously, you walk up to the glass wall and notice it extends farther into a hallway and borders a small shop farther down, then extends into an area outside. There is one painting...it is very familiar. The painting is not of you or anything similar for that matter, but still, something interesting. Then you notice a couple of feet above you, is a platform, as a stage, where a person is standing, looking straight ahead and talking about Mondays!
"... it's the day of the week between Sunday and Tuesday,” he says. “It gets its name from the Moon, which in turn gets its name from Mani (Old English Mona), the Germanic Moon god. Similarly, the names in Latin-based languages such as the Italian name (Lunedì), the French name (lundi), the Spanish name (Lunes), and the Romanian name (Luni) come from the Latin name for Moon, luna. The Russian word, eschewing pagan names, is “poniediélnik”, meaning "after Sunday." In most of the Indian Languages, the word for Monday is Somvar..."
As you look at what he is facing, you see two people sitting on the other side, crisscross on the floor, listening and making notes.
You want to stay and listen to the end, but your name is called. Your coffee is ready, and you remember your watch.
But today is a Monday...you start thinking about Mondays as you step outside and begin walking towards your work. Somehow, that painting comes to mind as you think of Mondays...but what is that painting of? You look back at the building, and make a note to come back another day, to see what will be said about Saturday, which is the day you were born. That will be more exciting, since you’ll be able to stay longer on that day…