Made a pitch to Dark Mofo.
THE LAST WORDS PROJECT:
The Last Words project is a live art piece that aims to evoke similar themes to 2015’s Funeral (The Guerrilla Museum)– self-reflection, a reminder of mortality, an utterly unique chance to pause and consider that every breath may well be our last.
Audience arrive in ticketed, timed increments to a quiet place of contemplation – wooden pews in rows before two wooden ‘confession booths’. They are invited to sit for a moment and flick through the ‘hymn books’ provided – actually an extensive collection of famous last words from history, plus an open space at the back for them to jot some notes of their own (or leave messages for audiences yet to come).
One at a time, each audience member is escorted into the Confession Booth where a clear set of instructions (and a volunteer) give them the opportunity to make an audio recording of their ‘last words’. Goodbyes, apologies, thank-yous, anything as yet unspoken they wish to be locked down for posterity and released to loved ones after their eventual death. They have the opportunity to review their audio file and re-record if necessary before saving.
After the piece they are emailed a sound file which they are then free to share with either family, loved ones, solicitors or lawyers ‘to be opened only after the event of my death’.
We also see an opportunity for anonymous recordings of the Last Words to be accessible elsewhere during Dark MOFO – with signed permission from willing participants, we would like to create another space in the festival where anyone can pick up a pair of headphones and tune it at any time to a loop of collected confessions and goodbyes.
That we so often pass with things left unspoken is a tragedy in itself. The Last Words Project not only gives audiences an opportunity to truly sit and consider bridges that may need mending, forgiveness that requires gifting, and an overall exhalation of letting go – it takes it one step further and passes messages on from beyond the grave.