bilateral kellerberrin

April 20, 2005

The four minute Orator

Filed under: education? — Lucas @ 10:47 am

Cristina and I were asked to give a talk about our art at Curtin University on Monday. The time was really tight, we only had from 12 to 12.55pm for both of us. Of course, we started late. I calculated I had 24 minutes to speak about my work. Last time I spoke, I earbashed the Deakin students for over an hour. How was I going to compress all that stuff into such a short time?

I went to Sicari Office Supplies in Northbridge and purchased a counter bell, the kind you “ding” in the post office to get the clerk’s attention. It was only six dollars. I chose six projects to focus on, and decided to give each project only four minutes. The last student who came into the theatre before the talk began, a girl called Mel, became my assistant. She had to ding the bell, and tell me the key word for the next project I was to speak on. The key words were: “orange juice,” “bed,” “green books,” “touristic,” “unreal,” and “bubblegum”. I found that the reduced time limit was no problem at all. It forced me to be more concise, and sometimes, I actually came in under the 4 minute deadline!

Today, Cristina said to me: “You know, you have a gift. You are an orator… like Hitler.”

Cristina showed photos from her “blind” series – a sort of poetic documentary project about blind people in Colombia and Chile. The photos are gorgeously executed in black and white, and there is a real empathy present between photographer and subject (a trust must have been established, since the subjects will never see the final product). The photo which stayed with me the most, actually had no-one in it. It showed a wash basin in a public toilet at a school for the blind. On the wall, above the basin, there was no mirror.

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