An art show that tells the stories of disabled, chronically ill and neurodivergent people’s attempts to rest in public is coming to Camden, London, next year.
Raquel Meseguer, the artist behind A Crash Course In Cloudspotting, thought she was one of only a small crew of people who needed to rest during the day, in her case due to chronic pain. But when she started asking around, she discovered it was actually a very large crew.
She has so far collected over 200 stories of people’s experiences of resting in public, many of them via her Twitter account, which will be retold during the show. Her own experiences of lying down in public have resulted in embarrassment, being assumed to be homeless, and being moved on by security guards:
The show is due to start at Swiss Cottage Gallery in London on 16 January and will combine the rest stories with a live installation, which will use an app to enable Camden residents to broadcast when they are resting. Each time someone rests it will turn on an individual light bulb in the gallery space, creating a collective light show and illuminating the often hidden needs of many local residents.
Raquel Meseguer is still looking for people who live or work in the London Borough of Camden and need to rest during the day to get involved, whether by sharing their rest stories with her or using the app during the installation. You can find out more here.
Raquel said: “It’s a 24 minute play with words and light. I really like that neurodiverse, chronically ill and disabled people, often isolated and absented from cultural spaces, get to broadcast their rest in a public space, and in a public work of art.”
The Spooniehacker team genuinely teared up when we learned about this show. We love the idea of creating a light show through ‘rest’ lights blinking on and off. We hope it will give a sense of solidarity to those resting during the day, which can be a very lonely experience, and we hope it demonstrates to non-disabled and neurotypical people who visit the show just how much need there is for public resting spaces, something Raquel is also campaigning for.