Today was the definite end, the de-installation. "No more problems at the artsdepot!" so I said to the staff at the café. They laughed gently, sailing along with the nice imagination of it. I slept a bit longer today, and then cycled up north as has become usual. Putting things down is always easier than setting them up. It is since I was very young that this strange relationship between the economics of construction and destruction amazes me. The wind was calm, warmer as well, and so were the streets. Today is sunday after all.
As I got in, all prints were already gone. The walls had returned to their problematic blankness. Ben, Chris and Cátia had already begun disassembling the "machine" as well. The screen and the bag were down, the electronics were all disconnected. We turned the structure upside-down so that I could start loosening all the joints and, one by one, the feet were removed and all the tubes were organised by size and function. The clamps were taken out and separated from the rest of body, which felt a bit like dissecting a body dear to you… as though you were collecting the relics of a martyr, or a saint patron to your hometown. Where will they go now?
For this room is normally used as a dance studio, all problems were gone and I was left in a wide white room full of mirrors. Thank you to all of those who had the courage and energy to confront their problems. I am also deeply grateful to everyone here at the artsdepot. This has been a wonderful week.
When someone says that they have a problem, you imagine perhaps that they are stuck with a complicated situation, that something is tricky, sticky, or even 'funny'. We feel as though life stops before a problem, as things get entangled and cease to work. It is a blockage, a barrier, an insurmountable impossibility!
However, the idea of a problem is actually based on an action and, in fact, a quite physical one. The Greek verb probállō is composed by pro- (forwards) and bállō (to throw). So, in PROBLEM, Rodrigo challenges you to rescue the proactive nature of what problems should be. Throw some punches at your own problems! In this interactive audiovisual installation, name any problem you may have: "My tea is cold", "Brexit gives me headaches", "Loneliness", "Sneaky pesticides in my food", "I can't find my socks", "Social inequality" etc.
Problem is a call to action, and a reminder, for we often forget we have a body; one that is simultaneously physical, biological, animal, social, cultural, political… From the smallest to the biggest, from the simplest to the most complex, abstract or unfathomable, every problem is welcome to be thrown forwards, towards a sense of unity.