Thursday, February 7, 2013

fire for ANGELIQUE: burn baby burn

a fire built in commemoration of marie joseph ANGELIQUE.... the rebellious slave woman who in 1734 set fire to montreal

PROLOGUE: The problem once again of how to name this… or how to categorise this thing/ event
it is not a performance as such… not a situation….
Not a drawing? Not a painting… not a sculpture …not  a sound piece… not a video …not a photograph… not a dance… not a theatre piece, not a script … not a musical score…  not a social sculpture…
There may be a new category called ‘ the not’….
Not social practice?  Is it a social sculpture? Not a ___ oh… is it a happening?
Of sorts?
(like the 60’s happening?)
if it is a social sculpture, how long does it last for?
Well it is not that…
It must be a happening of sorts…
It lasted perhaps about an hour- the building of the fire- the burning of the wood, the fervor  and piety of the flames
And then the container  remained with the ashes- I am not interested in that for now though

A reminiscence
Remembering Angelique is perhaps remembering something forgotten, in the neighbourhood’s amnesiatic past…
 How does it become my memory? My story… (too)…  this rebellious woman, enslaved, she was rude, rebellious, fought  a microcosm fight,  and she was black, and was a woman, and she was rebellious

…. wherever one goes, one kind of appropriates the stories of the new place – to make sense of one’s ‘own’ self in relation to others….
One navigates through another culture’s sacred days, and collective memory/amnesia/secrets etc…
(Here I )
This is a story of mythical possibilities… escaping her conditions was through fire…
She ran away for freedom (how bold), for love…  (how selfish, how romantic)

THE BODY:  i built  the (small ) fire in montreal, on the occassion of the darling foundry's birthday celebrations...june 2012.
the old port, the neighbourhood where the foundry is now located - is the part of montreal where alot of slaves (enslaves people), rum, sugar etc were traded during the 1700's.
 ...the neighbourhood is also where the original fire was...

i came to know the story of ANGELIQUE via friends i made in the city whilst in residency at the darling....
for more on the story of the rebellious woman, check out writtings by charmaine nelson (who i had the great pleasure of meeting with) and also afua cooper.

oh ....!! this event has a soundtrack which includes songs like : burn, baby burn; the roof is on fire; i'm gonna burn up... ; fire on the mountain; we bring the fire; fire fire....etc. etc.
basically all the songs i know that reference fire...