The experience! We have all excepted the word experiential into our lives. You can not even enter Argos without a hint of it lurking in the isles.
This project though really does re-ignite the word and the moment it was born within.
Within Waldorf Project there is not a sales point, there is not a brand attached, this experience is not to drive sales, it exists beyond the relatively new gimmick of store openings, product launches and PR events.
Purity and integrity flow through the space, every nuance and detail is made to enforce the point that
THIS IS AN ART PIECE.
These are the words of the curator Sean Rogg, who bestows them upon you as he casually sits, reclining at your feet as the piece is concluded.
‘THIS IS AN ART PIECE… “
he gently exhales with a warm generous breath and looks longingly into your transfixed and dilated eyes
‘NOW HOW DO YOU FEEL?’
Why is it we want to feel? What is it about us that strives for an experience?
Is it the lust for sensory satisfaction, is it to propel us to another place beyond this static realm, is it to disengage from URL into IRL, this experience questions some of these gentle but profound points, here is how.
In this case FUTURO is the third instalment of the WALDORF PROJECT, ’27 sold out performance over 4 weeks, this is the last showing. The journey starts when you arrive at the Olympic Park, which as with most former olympic venues is still trying to work out what it is.
Already in limbo you wait cold and confused as a friendly but firm kinship of women observe you, looking up and down noting if you have adhered to the attire requested, ALL BLACK ( including socks is the plea from the organisers on the ticket ). Every man within the queue looks embarrassingly like the milk tray guy, or the cooler crowd have a touch of ninja about them. We are instructed to power down our phones, apple watches and any digital equipment. This action forces the queue to stagger as everyone sends their last messages, whatsApps, instagram posts and emails to their loved ones, followers and tinder dates .
You enter and Sean appears like a phantom, his tone is calm and he has the assurance of a grand priest who has just exited a meditation zone, his tone intended to alleviate the announcement,
“Hi, so this is trial and error, we are learning each event, so we need to announce to you a few things, THIS IS AN ART PIECE, does any one have claustrophobia or nyctophobia ?” “Has everyone read the small print?”
The phantom disappears.
Sean was lending us a few clues here, as to what we were about to embark upon.
We were in a generic corridor unaware of what was about to be unleashed onto our senses. We are beckoned randomly which splits the groups, we are now alone.
Taken from the building and towards a side door, we wait. A hand peers from a dark opening it waves and stretches its fingers towards you as if to draw you into the space, you reach out and make contact, You have arrived, it has begun. You are greeted by darkness, a very dark experiential darkness, you witness the presence of the black void, you feel it swallows you up.
You then see others through the glare of a white light which is shrouded by mist, bodies become a mass that the light sits against, the shape of human forms are like a city sky line, you are lost.
The guiding hand becomes more physical and dominant, it takes command over your motions, you are directed within the black. The humans touch is aggressive/sexual/knowing, all dependant on the interpretation of touch, also the mood of the person who is your leader.
You are gifted a space at a table, the platform is geometric within shape with a glass sheen, the ‘others’ are opposite and beside you, they all are negating eye contact.
Your hands are pressed flat, your gaze is directed by the small long haired master, the master refuses any movement or even slight engagement with anything other than her. You are now standing still and also negating any eye contact with the others.
You stand and wait for what seems an eternity or perhaps a few minutes. You are still lost.
Your face is illuminated, but only by a faint glow, the light exudes from a contraption which has several holes, teat like balloons hang here, full and weighty.
Held within the contraption is light which floods a vile mass of thick spawn, this is the centre orifice. What is this place and what are we to do?
A hum of tribal electric beats hit your soul and pushes you into a meditative moment, I relax and begin to build physical momentum with the sounds, but I am forced into an instructed stance, you are nudged, pulled and corrected by your lead who is now your master.
What is this? It is at this point I then released my sense of self and became a part of their system. I began to go limp, to ‘let go’ I dissolved my internal nudge and pull, i imploded my stance, my resistance and I became the art.
I breathed as they wished, moved as they wished, consumed as they wished.
You are subservient to their every whim and become this almost immediately.
Now what is it that drives us to such a space? The desire to let go? To be instructed, to be commanded, directed, ordered? Why is it we strive for experience at all?
Is it that our lives are too full? Or too empty?
We fill our time with constant ‘moments’, we share, we like, we curate. we live in an images rich time where we are active within the real life moment and beyond, irl to url living. Is this the space we crave? To dissolve into an inactive physical mass? These are the questions that continue to imprint my time post FUTURO.
Within FUTURO, we are guided, instructed and left without our devices which we cling to and report every nuance of our lives. The time is fluid and we swim silently within it, in this space the absence of technology and the second-hand consciousness we stream to is gone, we only have ourselves to experience with.
Within FUTURO our physicality is commanded and directed, we make no choices, we comply, we are absorbed within the ART PIECE.
When instructed by a jolt of the head and a rip of the lips to engulf the entire mass of a balloon into our mouth, we accept, we open wide, a forceful closure sees the balloons teat flush a toxic coloured liquid into the illuminated white spawn.
We watch this transition of colour, the purple substance penetrates the viscous liquid, the moment is long, the colours mate and birth a new substance, a rich violet matter is leaked into vessels. The teat is removed your work is done.
We wait in a trance like state, your own flesh is tainted by drips and squirts of this strange fluid. Like eager fledgling chicks we take down the embryonic fluid. We feast only when instructed. Why are we in this?
We at no point engage in anything other than to physically gift momentum to where the master leads us. We open, we shut, we swallow.
It is at this point the gaze becomes deeper and hypnotic, we feel the harmonies of techno base, the sonic waves bathe us and cleanse us of our unease, it projects us into a state of meditation.
We feel the darkness, we see the darkness, the complexities of the texture are more apparent, cold is now stifling, so when gin vapour is delivered orally and an iced tart vinegar puree is pressed slowly around your pursed lips the senses react intensely.
So we are existing in a hypersensitive reality, Sean and team are playing with our senses. But not only our senses, we are subservient, we exist as mass, we have no thought but to feel.
The others who also paid for this experience, who are also guided, left, wrestled and bound, who sit patiently in the dark corners, where women ride them and feed them, the others why are they here? What do they feel? How much can you take?
It was upon the 3rd room, after negotiating a tunnel matrix which i negotiated upon my back, I then lay in absolute darkness, I had enough of this role. After the erotically charged woman on a podium aggressively delivered a mouthful of warm fluid from between her legs, I broke.
I needed control of my gullet, of what was to enter, of what was to entice it open, of where i moved to, of where i sat. It seemed that the majority of the men were indeed still lapping up their roles, a sea of eager male bearded mouths were positioned open ready to consume vile dollops of salty fish laced spunk.
What is it about me that said no? Am i a control freak? Did i fail the experience? Is it the same reason I have endless difficulties with meditation? What was it that lead others opened mouthed and me uncomfortable and furious? Whatever the reason our experiential differences were poignant, everyone had a different take as we sat with our spunk covered faces, discussing the ‘journey’ post.
To gift the team an applause is not enough, perhaps its a slap instead? As the set, the sound, the choreography, the tone, the textures, the whole architecture of the piece propelled my reality to a different time and space that was wholly reflective.
They transported me and my psych to a place that never have i been before.
from SEAN ROGG / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
REG SHAW / ENVIRONMENT DESIGN
ALESSIO NATALIZIA / SOUND DESIGN
MAX CASTALDO / FOOD & LIQUID DESIGN
ELENA MARTIN / COSTUME DESIGN /AOI NAKAMURA &
ESTÉBAN FOURMI / CHOREOGRAPHY
YEN-CHING LIN, MAMI IZUMI, CHIHIRO KAWASAKI, ICHI GO / PERFORMERS
‘FUTURO now exists as a limited edition artwork in the form of a memory in the minds of 1080 people. ‘ It’s a memory that i feel may have a constant echo within my life post FUTURO.
Thank you, i hate you!
Get ready for future editions: www.waldorfproject.com