An Investigation into Haunted Space, Psychometry and Spectatorship
Royal Academy Schools, 1-2 October 2010
Researching a series of unexplained incidents at this historic building, artist Blue Firth uncovered a first-hand account of apparent poltergeist activity in the artists’ studios.
While patrolling the 18th century corridors one night in 2008, Red Collar guard Nathan Phillips experienced something that prevented him from finishing his shift: ‘When I got back to where the skeletons are kept, the doors all slammed shut — like boom, boom, boom one after another. I tried to make out what it could be and checked all the doors again. I got to the same point in the same sequence and the bangs happened all over again. I didn’t finish my patrol that night.’
To make sense of what happened to Nathan, Blue has collaborated with parapsychologist Dr David Luke and writer Mark Pilkington. As preparatory research they undertook investigative training sessions with the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP).
Bringing together their knowledge and experience of the paranormal and arts fields, the trio have devised an event that merges Blue’s art practice with David and Mark’s expertise in making sense of the unexplained. The end result is a unique participatory experiment in which the audience are both observers and the observed, the haunters and the haunted.
Participants will be asked to complete psychological and physiological assessments before and after entering the site of the haunting, which will be monitored for any unusual occurrences. The vigil will take place under carefully controlled conditions and in total darkness.
Combining authentic investigative procedures with subtle performative aspects, Vigil examines and subverts the roles of audience expectation, spectatorship and belief.
Spaces for both nights are extremely limited so we advise reserving your position soon.
Visit the Royal Academy web site (www.royalacademy.org.uk) to buy tickets, or email firstname.lastname@example.org