Ruth Barker

And The Three Mothers Ask: Don't You Know Me?

2011
Galini Hotel, Athens (ReMap 3: as part of PETROSPHERE)
3 Mothers Athens 3 Mothers Athens 3 Mothers Athens 3 Mothers Athens 3 Mothers Athens 3 Mothers Athens

Performance: Running Time 15 minutes approx. Garment design and production by Lesley Hepburn.

The text was memorised, and recited as a spoken word performance by the artist.

Photography by Niall Macdonald, with many thanks.

This performance was developed as a response to a residency at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Artefact Studies (CIAS) in Newcastle, England, and was recontextualised for the site of the derelict Galini Hotel, Athens.

 

This performance was part of the group exhibition PETROSPHERE, the first stage in an exchange project between Glasgow based artists: Ruth Barker, Helen de Main, Niall Macdonald, James McLardy, and Ciara Phillips; and Athens based artists: Antonakis Christodoulou, Vassilis H, Margarita Myrogianni, Aliki Panagiotopoulou, and Kostas Sahpazis. This exchibition took place within the context of ReMap 3, a festival of contemporary art in Athens, which temporarily appropriates empty buildings within the Kerameikos-Metaxourgeio district of the city.

The second stage of the PETROSPHERE project will take place during a group exhibition as part of Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art in April/May 2012.

 

 



 

And The Three Mothers Ask: Don’t You Know Me?

(repeated 3 times, in different registers, at points around the room.)

 

 

I know you.

I know all of you.

I believe I’ve met you all before – don’t you know me?

 

O, a song of greeting,

Song of almost recognition,

Song of comfort and combustion and

Some half remembered things

That I can give to you,

These things I gift to you – don’t you know me?

 

 

O You were forwarned in a dream

O, the dream you had

In the Holiday Inn

The time you overslept.

I was there.

Don’t you know me?

 

O You were forwarned in a dream

O, the dream you had

The night your son left home

It was October

I was there.

Don’t you know me?

 

O You were forwarned in a dream

O, the dream you had

When your eyes closed on the Metro.

It was only for a moment

I was there.

Don’t you know me?

 

O You were forwarned in a dream

O, the dream you had

In the hospital

When the lights stayed on all night.

I was there.

Don’t you know me?

 

 

O don’t you know me?

No No No No No,

You don’t know me

Do you?

 

 

I’m running water

I’m falling water

I’m touching water

I’m touching ripe fruit

I’m touching cut grass

I’m touching new corn

I’m touching baked bread

I’m touching nursing

I’m touching low like a fish

I’m touching soft like a belly

Touching round like sanctuary

Touching upright, on a wicker chair

I’m holding something in my hand. Right now.

 

I am your mother. I am braided and strong.

I am your mother’s mother. I am braided and strong.

I am the always, ever mother. I am braided and strong.

I am the mother of your children. I am braided and strong.

I am only a song, and I am braided. I am braided, and I am strong

 

So cut the crusts off your Hovis today.

Put your feet into the water today.

Pour the milk onto your cereal today.

Eat your little pre-rolled sushi today.

And lie down in your bath

With your Radox

Reading your new magazine

It is good, and the pages are glossy...

 

So now you know.

You were forwarned in a dream.

 

I think you owe me.

Don’t you think you know me, now?