I was given this image by Carol of The Friends of Dartmouth Park during my research for West Bromwich Connections. I asked if anything funny ever happened at the park and she told me the story of the poor man pictured. During an event in the 80s he had the whole park to land in, but managed to land on the war memorial. Fortunately the fire brigade were already on hand to help him down.
I heard my harshest criticism at the private view of Collusion on Thursday night.
I was taking a few photos of the work while people were milling around and noticed that there was a very bored-looking little boy sitting on the floor between the projectors. I think he was about 10 years old.
‘I’m bored. Can we go now?’ He said.
‘Not yet, be quiet.’ Said his mother. She was studying the work quite intensely.
‘I’m bored! You said there’d be a light show?’
‘This a light show, look at the projectors.’
‘It’s not, it’s boring!’ He waggled his knees and flopped his head side to side.
‘Why don’t you try looking? Try using your imagination?’ His mother asked.
‘I have looked. There’s a door, there’s a door, there’s a door and there’s another door. There’s four doors. I’m bored!’
I must try harder.
take your fucking sunglasses off you’re on the underground jesus you’re dressed like some kind of middle-aged native-american obsessed tom cruise all twitchy and fidgety like you’re the pimp-daddy all swagger and head nodding to one side where did you get those moccasins? dreams of neil armstrong and buzz aldrin still orbit your brain the cold war never died you’ll kill a few commies but you’re quite into that hippy shit ‘save the planet but only for god-fearing decent white folk’
I walk into the post office. The queue is huge. It snakes around the cordoned route all the way to the entrance.
I can already hear her.
Quite a large lady. Middle-aged? Leisure-wear and bleach-blonde with black roots. Big curls in a top-knot.
She is effing and blinding right in the faces of a pair of women who are quite calm about it.
At first I think that the woman is rather animatedly telling them a story.
It soon becomes evident that she is not as she turns her attention to someone else.
‘Don’t fackin tell me ta calm darn you fackin calm darn I’ll rip ya fackin ead off bout calm darn who dya fink ya talkin to ya cant?’
Her swearing is relentless.
An older man looking at the greetings cards turns around.
‘I don’t think you should talk to people like that.’ He gently suggests.
‘I’ll fackin talk to people how I fackin like. Don’t you fackin tell me wot to do you should see my dad he’ll rip ya fackin ead off!’
She mutters more things under her breath. Tutting and swearing. Rolling her eyes.
She talks to anyone and everyone and has to have the last word. Even with herself.
’Rich applied [for Place, Space and Identity 3] and was selected… based on his practice, honesty about process and ability to talk about his work for a range of audiences. We weren’t disappointed. He created Platform 4… - a fun, ironic, truthful and thoughtful interpretation of the feedback he’d gained from locals and visitors to the area.’