Monday, June 12, 2006

The onion skin song and other such things

it's been a very hectic few weeks dear reader, very hectic indeed. the end of the academic year brings exam preparation, reports, a monstrous cold-sore and a very surreal happening.
over the past couple of weeks i have been working, as normal, at work. teaching the children of class 4 and shouting maths at class 5 whilst eating cinnamon beans. after work and at weekends i have been working with alison knowles, helping to prepare for a performance, which will take place this evening at museo fortuny in venice, and setting up her show entitled "Time Pieces" at the Emily Harvey Foundation, again in venice. We also had to put together a prototype of a piece which will adorn a window of the Villa Buttafava, somewhere near Milan. actually alison put it to gether, i glued it down.
all of this has been relatively straightforward, with the exception of bill stone's video, and gone really rather smoothly for venice.
tonight we will perform alison knowles' 'loose pages', 'onion skin song' and 'shoes of your choice', ay-o's "rainbow", and a couple of pieces which slip my mind. a slippery mind is, alas something that i've had to live with since that first pint of scotch. it's all sort of organised to take off at 6.30 gmt+1 of the afternoon clock and will do so in a most spectacular room - an enormous and crumbling sala of a 15th century palazzo. empty apart from a couple of wardrobes and a large filing cabinet, we will perfom in the centre of the space. props are a 1m squared white podium and a microphone, saran wrap, onion skins, two pages of the score of 'the barber of seville', round bean turner, red bean turner, wooden pecking birds and the 'loose pages' portfolio. after there will be wine!

the surreal happening was this however:
i, through one thing and another i was really behind with the school reports for class 4 - and not a little stressed! alison knowles had expressed an interest in coming into school to meet the kids. so i got it arranged and in she came. she talked about beans and books and the kids talked about their experiences with beans and the books they were making and a very interesting session took place. the children were rapt and even began to write haiku about what was going on. i in the meantime was flying around, purple and sweating, trying to get everything ready for 4p.m.
at one point i looked up from the envelopes i was addressing and saw that alison knowles - an artist who i had studied at university, who i'd never even dreamt of meeting was now in my classroom, teaching my class, effectively saving my backside whilst i did all the stuff i should have done at least a week previously!


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