Som Chai meets my family & friends
I am so excited that Som Chai is now in Oz and has been granted a partner visa.
He's met my family and friends, and even come along to Uni with me.
It is wonderful having him here with me - no more lonely nights or awkward outings on my own!
I can throw my wish list in the fire now because he fulfils all my dreams. I am so proud of him - he is charismatic, generous and kind, and he is also Budhist and a meditator!
I wondered whether there was a difference between art made by a human and art made by a machine? So I made a fan that painted, and I became a painting human fan.
Conclusion: there was no difference.
Just an Ordinary Peasant is based on my uncle’s experience as an inmate at Treblinka extermination camp in 1944. His memoir recounts that while being forced to carry corpses from the gas chambers to an open-air pyre, he was handed a sack which held little children who were still alive. The guard commanded the sack be thrown into the fire. The woman I play in Just an Ordinary Peasant is a hybrid character created from the memoirs of my uncle, my parents and my own research. She sings and dances and also throws a sack of babies into the fire. This piece explores my own biases as well as questions the culpability of ‘ordinary people’ who were accomplices to the atrocities carried out during the Third Reich.
The scene opens as I emerge from my Baggage to start the day. My Baggage and I are extensions of one another.
Together we catch the train from Prato to the Central train station in Florence. Here, we disconnect from each other for some minutes to have a cigarette break, and observe all the other travellers laden with their own ‘baggage’.
As dusk settles over Prato, we finally head back home to Palazzo Vecchio. I crawl back into my Baggage, feeling safe and warm, and go to sleep.
In this piece, the suitcase is a metaphor for our own baggage. It touches on our own personal journey, but is also a metaphor for loss of identity, displacement, refugees, and the Holocaust.
Each one of us carries an accumulation of experiences and influences, not only from one’s own life, but also from the lives of previous generations. Sometimes it takes a whole lifetime to shed this baggage. Sometimes we don’t succeed, and the weight of our baggage continues to be passed on to the next generation.
A suitcase is not merely an inert object. It is an integral partner in our changing lives, incorporating a space that is forever absorbing the past, present and future.
A Day in the Life of Baggage
7am. Climbing out of Baggage
8am. Me & Baggage venture out
9am. Me & Baggage buying ticket
9.15am. Boarding train with Baggage
9.30am. We're on the train
12pm. A moment's relief from Baggage
9pm. Climbing into my Baggage
9.15pm. Ahhh...safe inside my Baggage
The making of My Baggage