This Bed I Lie In

By Hazel McMichael

 

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“This Bed I Lie In” was installed at the Centre For Creative Collaboration in King’s Cross during a week in March 2011.

The video projection depicted the artist‘s gestures, which were sped up x2 for emphasis, and intermittent still images of the artist holding up an assortment of sentimental objects. The bed sheet had photographs stitched, string glued and text handwritten onto it. The sheet was covered with a duvet and two pillows, clothed in a 1970’s vintage floral bedding set which the author had slept in for several days prior to the installation. The installation space, which usually functioned as a darkroom, was lit with the flickering projection and a small lamp which was inscribed with the title of the installation.

During the week visitors were persistently delicate with the installation in the presence of the artist, with the exception of two women lying under the duvet, two women lying on top of the duvet, the author’s parents removing the duvet altogether and one man exploring the sheet on his hands and knees. Despite there being no sound in the installation, visitors were generally very quiet and reserved, which helped to create a palpably intimate atmosphere.

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... i used to speak to him in lapin. i shared my silflay with him everyday ... we created a language of our own ...

... Pepper beloved ... he said i should get another rabbit to be with Pepper and call him — we both said “salt” — there on after every time we said the same word at the same time we would both say “salt” and giggle like children ... she always ate too much salt ...

... there is a garden in a small village in Leicestershire with a stone in it which reads “my heart has joined the thousand for my friend stopped running today” ... his only love was food and it killed him ... he would jump onto my lap and reach his mouth to my mouth. he ate from my hands like a bird ...

.... my father broke her heart like everyone expected ... i found him at the end of my street and brought him into my home to care for his broken heart ...

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... forever my soul twin. we should never have become friends ... i was in love with him but he was more like a brother than a lover ...

... the summer i was in love with everything ... all summer i ached and starved. i didn‟t understand her at all ...

... we lay down in tall corn fields and pretended we were ants ... i fell in love with her for a summer in fields at 3am with bottles of red and chills down our backs...

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... she collected antiques and ivory and taxidermy ... after Pepper died i wanted to dig up his bones so that i could keep him with me ... her hair looked dead in its wispy blackness ...

... a taxidermied bear head terrified me ... i was afraid some flesh may still be attached to his body and the flies would descend ...

... i had a lot of chaos in my heart. i saw nobody and spoke only to animals ... knew my moods before i did. he was more like a familiar than a pet ...

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... she was bedtime stories and pride and a belly which made watery noises ... it was Crohn‟s disease which she said meant she had holes in her belly ... lying on her belly it makes trickling noises like the sea i call home ...

... she would push me over when i was learning to walk ... nobody would speak to me for weeks ...we knew they were lying ...

... i run barefoot into the garden to pick herbs ... trickling water, fresh mint, smoky ...

... Kate used to climb into my crib with me in the middle of the night ... she was bedtime stories and pride ...

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...manifested only in my body... could only communicate through his hands...

...we exchanged revelations through our hands... i wrote backwards for a week — my remorse...

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