Dressing Chamber

The dressing chamber –

a place where I can be alone,

before a mirror

with thoughts in my mind.

fragilities unveiled

and yet again concealed.

In preparation…

to engage them

An in-between

A crossroad

between them and I.

Sometimes I liken the process of writing letters to Marcue, to the experience of being in a dressing room. Being naked behind closed doors and inert objects as the only witnesses of my being. Yet I am under the sway of the public. Questions on what is a better fitting bra, oil scent, style of skirt, countering the desire to stay naked in and out.

 Writing these letters to Marcue is an interaction with memory to talk about the personal, the hidden. Engaging collective histories and experiences in the subtle language of communications with a child. Childhood, religion, identity, post-colonialism, slavery, are encompassed in an imagery of the contemporary Ugandan society through the letters. This process in one way or another elucidates postcolonial and British imperial effects on a Young generation amidst the current socio-political state. The revisiting of childhood events in the letters is constantly faced by the fictions that memory might create.

Photos by Stefan Hagen

A circular/oval dressing table segmented into 4 separate chambers is placed in the centre of a room. Each chamber contains a short wooden stool, a hand mirror with a reflective surface on one side and a video screen on the other. Some of the chambers contain grooming tools such as Afro combs, scissors, razorblades, hot combs, shavers, hairbrushes, baby jelly, make up kits as well as banana fibre dolls (objects of memory)

The audience takes on the role of the performer as they interact with the talking mirrors, which creates an atmosphere of a confession of ‘truths’ through the letters being read out but also puts members of the audience in the position of seeking for opinions from the object. A questioning of Identity.