I am learning a lot from this trip with my story collecting sculpture. Community based art requires a lot of flexibility. It demands that I keep learning and growing in the places I go.
I am really enjoying using the list of questions that my friends gave me to ask people before I left. They range from “What is your favorite flag?” to “What is wisdom?” and there is something for everyone in there. I have been using those questions and asking people who I spend time with as apposed to setting up the project on the street. Maybe I am getting more shy about walking around asking questions of people. Maybe it is the language difference, but the project flowed differently this time, and the experiences that I have been feeling the most enriched by are longer, slightly more intimate interviews with people I know a little bit. I might travel with a little chair next time, to get people to sit down and take the time to record and reflect and listen. The sculpture has changed several times, and it is now able to be carried over my shoulder like a giant briefcase, (She is cut off at the waist, and the two heads are attached to the torso with red leather) I like that because I can set it up more easily, when I seem people who might be interested, or when I stay at someone’s house.
I have only 3 more weeks on this journey. I have been traveling with my friend Megan, and we have spent the last 3 weeks in Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Syncronicity and things that feel like fate pull us around and we are spending all of our time laughing. After the complexity of Africa, everything seems to float with ease. We arrived in the town of Tarifa a couple weeks ago, which is the last stop before the (very short) ferry to Morocco, and I started randomly searching for potters and ceramic artists. The moment I started looking I found a poster for a figurative ceramics class held at the end of this month, for 4 days. I signed up for it and am planning one last act of public art. I am planning to build a figure of a little girl to leave in a phone booth. She will be talking on the phone. There are so many abandoned phone booths around the world right now, and though it may just last for a day, I am hoping it will stay up longer as a piece of spontaneous public art. I plan to bring it with me to Paris and set it up downtown.
We are in Portugal right now, and the beautiful old streets and raw cliffs along the coastline are so beautiful that I dream about staying. Then again I have dreamed about living in every place I have been so far…..