On living and the absurdity of the everyday

  1.   Questions raised:
  • What and how is the wanderer learning through progressing on the route? 
  • Illusion vs reality – needs clarity, more specific. The surprise moment revealed through a drawing that is from the ‘wrong perspective’;
  • More clarity in regards to this being a temporary/staged event, rather than something that alters the existing permanently;
  • Zoomed out drawings required; at the moment the project seems to be disparate smaller projects spread across the site (concept?);
  • The stories need to be revealed not just through sets;
  • Could it be somewhere else? The story should be more developed. Found objects, military objects – read differently and how their reading transforms the landscape; too many new things there.
  • Land artists vs. very connected street;
  • Connecting the objects with their context; 
  • More detail to the design (practical issues) or more connected through theory;
  • What’s the experience of living among these things?
  • Relation between interventions showed in the landscape drawings. The transitions are too steep. 
  • The acts and their connection – more theoretical support.  

1.2 To do:

  • Helicopter view. 
  • Drawings – of the day + after the event. 
  • Iso + perspectives of each chapter and switch. 

2.The abstract idea 

… is a meditation on the condition of the modern individual, confronted with lack of communication (in its original sense ‘communicare’), loss of identity, alienation, the question of liberty/freedom, loneliness and other fatalities. The thematic of modern dramatic writings internalizes these issues, specifically through the advent of ‘absurd theater’, which combines traditional forms (comedy, tragedy), with the use of monologue, fractured time, lyrical forms, reinterpretation of myths and idea-characters (=symbols).

These dramatic constructs aim to reveal the absurdity of modern existence, from which the individual yearns to escape.

3. Application – site reading

Dungeness in its present form is a holiday resort. Its surreal quality derives from the cumulated particularities of its waves of settlers.

Regardless of time, what unites the residents is the wish to escape their own selves and retreat from the constraints of a society whose raison d’etre and construct is perceived as absurd. I named them ‘hopeless romantics’.

However, the much needed tranquility is illusory – the small wave of settlers represents but a curiosity for the very people they wish to flee. Even more infuriating for them, visitor numbers roaming through their fenceless gardens are rising steadily each year.

4. Response

There lies the conflict – residents seek a retreat, visitors seek entertainment on a sunny day out.

The proposal is to offer a condensed experience of Dungeness to visitors, through a temporary event which is choreographed by residents themselves; visitors become accomplice actors unwittingly. The event is meant to take precedence over the usual visits throughout the year and reduce their number through a ‘not-to-be-missed event’, by associating Dungeness with the event itself.

5. Design

This is developed though three chapters (each chapter represents a wave of settlers; Dungeness changing across time) and heritage interpretation, in order to bring artifacts to life.

The journey starts backwards – from present-day alien houses to the times when the only man-made signs were the lighthouse and shipwrecks.  The present represents the current view on the apparent meaninglessness of one’s destiny (starting with a maze of Potemkin facades), making its way closer to the existing/real Dungeness and to the beginning/fishing communities (the symbolic center, time stands still).

Although the visitor unknowingly walks through a designed landscape, the internal monologue becomes more aligned with Dungeness itself, as one progresses.


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