Not My Tomorrow

 

Not My Tomorrow was a 4 day durational performance based on personal accounts, texts and poetry from those that have had their freedom taken away – where the power to influence their own fate rests in the hands of others.  Although there are many situations where this can happen, I focused on prisoners of conscience (recent & current).  Many of the names gathered for Not My Tomorrow were/are imprisoned because of their creative pursuits such as artists, writers, poets, filmmakers and musicians.

 

For 14 hours each day I was confined to a 1m square/1.8m high glass box where each panel of glass was painted an opaque black.  Over the 4 days I scratched the names of these prisoners of conscience into the paint and the reasons for their arrest.  The duration of each sentence was gradually revealed through the use of tally mark scratches. Interspersed were short texts relating to experiences of such extreme confinement.  As the marks on the glass panels grew, the light from inside the box began to spill out, lighting up the darkened gallery space.

Not My Tomorrow was a commission for the Cupar Arts Festival 2013.

© Pernille Spence 2020

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