Written by Saskia de Haas
After the second working week, the Centriphery artists were separated for two months. In the meantime the exhibition of Basquiat in Schunck Museum in Heerlen finished. Hoge Fronten moved in the museum and started building the Museum of Stillness. The museum is located in the basement of Schunck. Being under the ground, feels like being away of everyday life. It was hot in there, and oxygen was hard to find.
First all walls of the museum were moved to make different boxes. Then all walls were painted white. Some walls were painted black. Some pink. Some yellow. None blue. Yet.
Without Livia and Eric, we tried to work further with texts and audio. We experimented a lot. But it was difficult, almost impossible. We missed half of the Centriphery-team. Lieke had to resign herselves to the fact that she probably had to wait for the last weeks, the weeks before the premiere, to make final conclusions. Bart had to resign himself to the fact he had to wait till Eric arrived. There was not much to perform yet. But Lieke and Bart did a lot of other things. Things that didn’t had much to do with directing or acting, but were essential for the wholeness of the museum.
It was quite difficult for everybody to wander in this time in between. Everything was still quite elusive. We could imagine how Livia’s wall painting would look like, how Bart would move with a blind person in the ‘white space’, and how blind people would perform in the ‘black box’, but everything could still change and turn out to work differently than expected.
In the meantime there were some skype meetings to make things clearer.
LIEKE So, next skype meeting Wednesday at seven?
ERIC Morning or evening?
LIVIA That’s eight o’clock
BART Eight o’clock?
LIVIA No, only for me
ERIC I am in England that Wednesday, so seven is six for me
BART Wait. What?
LIVIA Time differences
LIEKE So, seven for us, eight for Livia and six o’clock for Eric on Wednesday?
Miraculously everybody was right on time for this appointment.
One day Marq, the technician and set builder of Hoge Fronten arrived with a wooden frame for the black box. It was very impressive and beautiful. The next day Bart and I painted it black. After our work was done, Marqs beautiful wooden frame disappeared in the dark.
During the last month before the opening, it was never still in the Museum of Stillness. Voices were bouncing through the space. Tape was being torn from its roll. Scaffolding tubes clattered on the floor. Someone coughed, a lot. The space vibrated – someone was drilling. Every sound in this space intensified. The Museum of Stillness sounded more like the Museum of Noise.
But then Livia arrived. She brought silence with her. With a lot of focus and calmness she started to paint her wall.
I never realised how hard it was to make a space dark, totally dark. Marq tried everything, but still after a while in the dark, a little light appeared, far away. Sometimes I wondered if it was my own imagination, or real light.
The last week Eric and all performers arrived. All performers were blind, so we had to be aware of our mess. We had to clean up the whole space.
The atmosphere of the Museum of Stillness changed that week. Finally the aircon worked, so the museum became colder. There was a different energy. A slower energy. A different awareness. A kind of stillness appeared. Like it was the end of the time in between.