‘Take Me Home’ was a one day collaborative ‘happening’ created by Mildmay park resident Gerald and myself. The event took place on 17th March 2016 in the main T.V lounge and featured Gerald as ‘Jimi’ the taxi driver. Jimi invited residents and students (from Newman Catholic College) to get in the back of his cab and share jokes, stories and experiences broadly relating to journeys.
The rules of engagement were fluid and unpredictable, allowing for ‘confessions’ as well as funny stories and jokes. The atmosphere of play enabled participants to embody characters and explore stereotypes. This in itself opened up exploration of personal and public issues within a safe, yet public realm. Male participants dressed as women, younger participants interacted with older residents and discussions and performances arose that broached homophobia, racism, alienation and loneliness.
The result was 2 hours of collaborative ‘Social Surrealism’ where participants employed humour and bathos to explore social and personal issues. 15 residents and 6 18 year old students took part. In respecting the wishes of residents the photographs only feature participants who wanted their picture to be shown. The photographs document 3 months of collaborative work involving working 1-1 (the black and white stills from tester videos we made together) to shooting in my studio space to the public event.
This event has introduced possibilities for further happenings and is part of my ongoing residency at Mildmay Park Care Home.
To watch a bit of the back-story please watch the Notting Hill Housing Trust film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-barBgaSkk&t=6m14s