Samantha Sweeting
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The Room Downstairs
performance installation via a long distance telephone line
Queer City Cinema, curated by Gary Varro
Neutral Ground Gallery
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
2013


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Telephone, arm chair, small room.
The telephone is ringing.

Hello? you say, lifting the receiver.
Hello, her voice replies. Can you tell me about the home of your childhood?

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Central to The Room Downstairs is a long distance telephone conversation across time zones, where distant memories of infancy are disclosed to an absent stranger. Participants unlock the door to a small room, provisionally furnished with signifiers of the domestic, where they sit in a lone armchair to await a scheduled phone call. The telephone rings and a female voice requests a description of the participant's childhood home. From the mother’s womb to the doll’s house to the primary nest that acts as a blueprint for all subsequent shelters, The Room Downstairs is an exploration of the miniature and gigantic dwelling places of our unconscious.

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