︎ MASS Alexandria
“The Pilot Room” is a constructed space that tries to mimic an imaginary picnic within the walls of a spacious open-plan art space/school.
The room was bounded by one wall in the back and two columns opposite to it. To create an enclosure, we used tabletops that were put side by side to erect a short segmented wall opposite to the existing gypsum wall. The two remaining sides had a bed sheet hung on a wooden rod on one side, and a dangling hammock on the other. Inside, there were designated stations for role-playing, which allowed five actors to come in and assume different roles. Fragments of texts, like “This is not a room,” and “Give the group time to be in its own process,” were printed, put up around the room, and flashed on a TV screen placed on the floor. The juxtaposition of the elements in this room would place it somewhere between a film set and a theater stage, and the participants became actors. They could choose one of five roles that people embody when on a picnic: Tea Maker, Reader, Cameraman, Narrator, and Last Person Standing.
This room is part of “Chatrooms: On Curating Spaces” in collaboration with Sarah Maher. It was part of Making Things Public, a group crit with guest artists Malak Helmy and Noor Abed at Mass Alexandria. The project is supported by Mophradat and the British Council in Egypt.
The open scripts given to the participants drew their attention to the different elements in the room. This created a possibility for different modes of listening and imagined dialogues with the space and its occupants: bodies, chairs, carpets, tables, etc.