The International Archive of Things Left Unsaid is an evolving collection of anonymous testimonies donated by members of the public responding to the question “think of a time when you wanted to say something to someone, but didn’t”.
It is a treasure trove of real life intimate testimonies, delivered with special care to honour the emotions expressed and preserve the anonymity of the people involved.
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The Archive was established in 2006 in response to a provocation by curator Ali MacGilp to create a performance for an exhibition entitled ‘There’s Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You’, at Space Station Sixty-Five in London. This one-to-one performance grew and now exists in multiple forms:
- an installation and one-to-one performance that has toured nationally and internationally
- a web-based work at www.unsaidarchive.com (The Space’s inaugural commission for a web-based performance)
- an interactive textile
This project is regularly remade for different contexts including at HMP Feltham Young Offender’s Institute, East Bergholt High School, for Haringey Advisory Group on Alcohol, and at various galleries including W139 in Amsterdam, Barbican Gallery, ALMA Enterprises, Propeller Island, Space Station Sixty-Five, Battersea Arts Centre, Pulse Ipswich, SLAP Yorkshire.
+ more about the one-to-one performance
+ more about www.unsaidarchive.com
+ more about the work in non-arts settings
+ more about the textile work
Public Selfcare System is drawn from Rhiannon’s lived experience of chronic debilitating conditions:
“I am an expert at resting in public thanks to a condition that sometimes forces me to lie down wherever I happen to be, and stay there until I am well enough to get up again. We may all one day have to learn to stop in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day, and rest. Get ahead of the curve, get your training in now.
Come with me to a place you may have seen, walked past, but never been to. We are going to lie down and have a rest: I am going to look out for you and look after you. You have a right to be here, you have a right to do this. We can do it together.”
Public Selfcare System was developed with financial support from Arts Council England, and has been shown at festivals including:
- Dublin Live Art Festival
- SPILL Festival in Ipswich
- Compass Festival in Leeds
- Buzzcut in Glasgow
- Tempting Failure in Croydon
- Greenwich Docklands International Festival Hub in London
The project has also been presented in wider participatory modes including:
- as a professional development workshop for artists with long term disabling conditions ‘DIY Public Selfcare System’ with The Live Art Development Agency and DADAFest
- as a textile work developed through drop-in craft and discussion sessions at Waltham Forest Migrant Action
- as an interior design concept for a “Quiet Room” at Battersea Arts Centre (launching March 2019)