I had enjoyed every single minute in the last 24 hours at Manchester.
Today, I stumbled upon the MMU’s Degree Show 2019 ‘Everything starts from Something’. Lots of quality student works with critical ideas were exhibited there.
After meeting an old friend, I went to the performance by Tina Richardson at the MMU. This research-based performance was entitled ‘The Rael/Real of Psychogeography: Urban walking as a method of ameliorating castration anxiety in Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’. In Tina Richardson’s own words:
Rael is not real, but he is a popular culture representation of a real individual who is a stranger in a new city. As a recent immigrant to New York, Rael has to negotiate the alien space that has suddenly become his home. Part hero, part graffiti artist, part urban explorer, we witness our protagonist traversing the physical landscape of the city and that of his own psyche.
This lecture explores the Lacanian concepts of castration anxiety, lack, the Other, and the real, in the context of the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Genesis, 1974). It examines the anxiety displayed in the character of the story and his attempts to work through this by using the landscape of the city as a vehicle for his own self-therapy.
By analysing Rael’s behaviour in the story, Richardson demonstrates that by taking a psychogeographic approach to the physical space of the city, and the abstract space of his own mind, Rael manages to work his way through the aesthetics of living in New York, as a foreigner, by facing his own troubled past.
It is for anyone interested in psychogeography, psychoanalysis, popular culture, cultural theory and/or progressive rock.
Funny enough, after Tina Richardson’s performance, I myself had an accidental (yet pleasant) psychogeography tour with a theatre company called ‘Hors Lits Mcr‘.
When I stepped out of Levenshulme station after getting off the train from Manchester Piccadilly, I saw a group of spectators who was about to set off to their Hor Lits theatre shows (Hor Lits #2 Levenshulme). I joined them for four mini performances at four different very private locations in Levenshulme. Theatre director Jonathan McGrath staged a moving performance in a cellar in a private house. OLA (One Little Atlas) the band played original live soundtrack to Baraka by Ron Fricke. Dancers Alice Bonazzi and Sara Marques (from Damae Dance) performed well-choreographed and emotive dance at a nursery. Finally, actor Conor A. and co. gave a comedy show about mental health issue. By walking from one venue to the other, I was experiencing Levenshulme in different way. I also learned new places in Levenshulme, met new friends. I thought the whole thing about Hors Lits was really psychogeographic.
What a day. I have enjoyed every single minute. Life is full of surprises, just like a box of chocolate (quoting Forrest Gump). I’d like to conclude this entry about my serendipitous encounters with the MMU degree show, with an old friend, and with Hors Lits Mcr with this quote from Conor’s show:
“You are not damaged; you are just shaped differently.”
After today, I am definitely less damaged than I used to be, even just slightly.