VLADIMIR & ESTRAGON
“At this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not.”
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (1953)
Kielder Water is the largest artificial lake in the United Kingdom and is surrounded by Kielder Forest, the largest man-made woodland in Europe.
This is a unique and complex environment which can be interpreted as a palimpsest, or layering, of nature/manmade, history/future, art//industry, and isolation/encounter.
Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play Waiting for Godot, follows the events of two days in the lives of two men, Vladimir and Estragon, who occupy themselves while waiting expectantly and unsuccessfully for a man named Godot to arrive. This project uses themes and motifs from the play as the departure point; proposing a new structure which will form part of the unique Art & Architecture programme at Kielder.
The proposals will take the form of a built manifestation which will act as place in the landscape for meetings, both planned and incidental, for exchanges, and as a device for connecting mankind with both the environment and the self. Throughout the play the passage of time is portrayed in a manner that
is amplified, fractured, non-existent, or cyclical. Whilst the play notionally takes place over two days, it appears that the characters are reliving the same day. This passage of time and repetition are mirrored in the 24 hour delay cycle of recording and playback of
the two chambers. Vladimir is represented by a ‘recording chamber’ which constantly records any sounds made within by visitors, whilst Estragon will be represented by a listening chamber where the recordings of Vladimir are played back on a precisely one day delay. The guiding principle that "every contact leaves a trace" will be explored both in the choice of materials and in the experience for the visitors. Corten
Steel, Concrete with cast images, mirror/ brass strips electroplated with silver- which will age, tarnish, and be otherwise changed by the visitors.
Location: - Kielder Water & Forest Park