The exhibition by Shannelle ‘Tali’ Fergus’, as part of Artist Archive.
Conceived during Talawa Firsts 2017 and since performed at Rich Mix, The Place and Wellcome, ‘Mum. Edit. More’ is a highly personal and poignant audio-visual journey exploring the beauty of the human voice, pondering the effects of gentrification and reflecting on the nature of change. This Material Archive takes the form of journal extracts, voice notes and video recordings.
This project was commissioned by Siobhan Davies Studios as part of the Artist Archive programme. Artist Archive is an annual programme from Siobhan Davies Studios that questions what an archive can be and who gets to have one. It’s about revisiting past works as they are and rethinking our relationship with them. In this way, Artist Archive aims to reduce and renew in place of the pressure to constantly innovate and increase output.
Quotes / Extracts | Throughout the building
Q. Quotes from the voice note my mother recorded. The core of the work.
E. Extracts from my notebook.
At the start of every (read: most) rehearsals, I would take the work through 11:22, an exercise introduced to me by the great Zoee Marsh: the idea being that if you ask the same question(s) 11 times, instinctively writing responses, for 22 days, you’ll get to the root of the thing. The act gets me to the root of the thing, for the moment at least, every day.
1. What’s the piece about? Me, my Mum and Brixton.
2. What’s the piece about? Change
3. What’s the piece about? Whether or not that’s a good thing.
4. What’s the piece about? History.
5. What’s the piece about? My childhood
6. What’s the piece about? Our family.
7. What’s the piece about? White people.
8. What’s the piece about? Rich white people.
9. What’s the piece about? Them not knowing what they’re doing/contributing to
10. What’s the piece about? An exodus.
11. What’s the piece about? My people.
1. Video recordings | First Floor, Under the stairs
Talawa Studio Firsts, 14th June 2017
Artists4Artists’ Scratch Dat!, Rich Mix, 21st July 2017
Resolution (technical rehearsal), The Place, 3rd February 2018
2. Audio | First fLOOR, On the WINDOW
the core of the work.
A few of the moving parts that contributed to the work:
I’d heard Tina Taught Me by Solange and had planned to choreograph to it.
Mum and I had visited Brixton for a sightseeing lunch not long before – I’d spent a lot of my childhood there, early 90s, with my Dad in Red Records and with my Mum on the commute if I was joining her at work, and was aware she hadn’t seen ‘the change.’
I went to yoga that evening and left my phone with Mum, asking her to record a voicenote with her thoughts on what she’d seen.
I took the voice note into the room with me at Studio Firsts.
this is that voice note.
3. Film | fIRST fLOOR, Study
This film was commissioned by Canvas, a now defunct platform linked to Arts Council, and featured by Evening Standard. I learnt of the dissolving of Canvas when contacting Talawa for a ‘hard copy’ of the work. I was told that didn’t exist but it could be found on YouTube. Fun.
I wonder if it matters. A ‘hard copy’ is still only consumed on screen. A file feels tangible to me though, where the work currently exists in the ether. Not mine. (They commissioned it, was it ever?) Easily deleted. Ripped from the internet so I can own it somehow, albeit a ‘no, I don’t have a higher quality version, sorry’ 61MB version.
4. Books | Opposite the balcony
Here are a selection of relevant reads from my home. Please post up and enjoy them from here. Find the reading list here to add anything you like the look of to your collection.
This archive project was commissioned by Siobhan Davies Studios as part of the Artist Archive programme, supported by public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
The original work was commissioned
Lighting Design: Chloe Kenward
Composition: Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante
Thank you to
Talawa Theatre Company for supporting the work
The SDS team and Annie Taylor-Gooby for helping me get the archive over the line.
My parents for bringing me up in South London. I am so proud to be your child and a product of this environment.
My Mum for being willing to let me take the work and run.