Ordinary voices of protest
A beautiful, simple installation continues Anu’s Lockout project
Thirteen: Protest, Part 2
In the window of the Oonagh Young gallery, a barefoot woman in scarlet red cuts a striking figure, gathering up glass bottles into the flowing apron of her dress. This is the start of Protest 2, and as the audience of six or seven people spills inside, we are invited to listen to a narrative on two sets of headphones, and speak aloud what we hear, “in the oral tradition”.
The names of “unknowable women” are called out alphabetically, as Young negotiates a pedestal, barely clinking the dozens of bottles in her apron. “The women who were frustrated . . . The women who desired their husbands . . . The women who laboured but had no job . . .”
The installation is beautiful, simple, tense, made all the more enjoyable by women on the street stopping to ask the steward what’s going on, and a group of girls from the nearby dance school banging on the window: “She’s got lovely toes.”
But it suffers from its formality, something intimidating that stops the audience from participating fully. It would have been nice had the women outside been able to join in.
Ends Sept 21