Pleasure in Slowness

Pleasure in slowness, performance collaboration with Helen Battelley, Mailbox Intervention Festival, B’ham, September 2004

Devised for the site of the shopping arcade, two mothers move around it in a pantomime of speed and slowness. It is a parody of pressures of time relating to the role- play and masquerade of mothering, in reference to Walter Benjamin’s Arcades project and his critique of modern day life, speed, and movement.

Carefully scored, an alarm clock rings every 10 minutes, signalling a change of role from slowness to speed, accentuating the frantic life of women who mother. The sudden alternation between frantic and quiet emphasizes the lack of opportunities for mothers to reflect, and enjoy stillness and contemplation.

Activities included: dragging a 2-D husband around the shops, running whilst burdened with children’s balloons and bags, walking a tortoise, sitting in the hairdressers, and changing outfits in the changing rooms of the shops in the shopping centre. We were afterall very stylish mothers.

Whilst ridiculous, it poked fun at societal expectations of mothers. The juxtaposition of roles, parodied the idea of the flaneur; afterall women would never had time to romantically wander the streets, even had they been allowed to by society.