Ghost Party is a multimedia installation, including photography, video projection, sound effects and props display.
This work is a modern anthropological one inspired by true events. It was put up and showcased especially for the
"I'm Ready to Dance Again" group show at Safehouse 2 in Peckham.
In 2016, as a teenager I was doing some urban decay exploration in the town of Curepipe in Mauritius.
Throughout our exploration, we stumbled on this beautiful abandoned building called La Casa Maria. As intriguing as it seemed from the outside we decided to dive into this beautiful mess to find one house out of six that was still packed with the past tenant's belongings.
While digging through the mess of this dilapidated haven, we found, letters of eviction, letters of lawyers condemning the owner of the house to jail, hand written letters from relatives, an important amount of pots of pepper and a collection of throusands of stamps.
The hoarders that we are decided to keep as many of these belonging as we could and this is how my adventure in modern anthropology began. Inspired by Sophie Calle's work as an artistic private investigator, I went through all of the letters to find about a tragic story. The story of a young man, roaming between France and England, abandoned by his family, trying to reconnect with them but in vain. A young man who had no clue about who he was. He knew nothing about his real name, where he was born, his date of birth, no matter how much he tried digging he kept being rejected by his family. In his family there was the father, condemned to be jailed for fraud, his mother we know nothing much about besides the fact that she was British and his brother living in London and refusing to get in touch with him.
This moving story inspired me in many ways because of the contemplation of losing a part of us/one self.
The idea of loss of identity can be translated in different ways. In this particular artwork, we witness 3 types of identity loss and 3 different ways to reclaim it.
Goder Talcie* lost his identity by being abandoned by his family. He had no ID paper proving who he was and where he came from, he didn’t know where he was born, he did not know his real name. From what we know, he began his journey of reconnecting with his true self by leaving Mandeur in France, where he was dropped in deep blue waters, not knowing how to swim, or even what swimming was. He went to London, Victoria Station, wandering around with a minimal knowledge of the language to find the pieces of the puzzle that he would hope help find find out who he was. In the meantime, there was Elphi Talcie*.
Elphi* was in Mauritius, Curepipe, La Casa Maria, when all of this was happening. Between a scattered family and appeal for trial, he was there in the middle of the mess that only he created, peeping at his son fighting for survival in a society where one does not exist if one does not have a piece of paper to prove it. Elphi* decided to stay passive in front of this, why? We’ll never truly know. Was he hiding from the shame? Trying to lay low by the menace of being evicted, sent to jail or losing the teeny tiny bits of family he had left? All we know up to this day is that he left his son helpless.
Last but not least, there is us, random people scattered around the world trying to find a purpose to our lives in the middle of a global pandemic where nothing will ever be certain anymore. We might know about our physical identity but we remain forever lost in the mess we create trying to find a meaning and purpose to our lives. We keep giving into new experiences believing that
there is an ultimate right thing to do until it all comes knocking us down. Knocking us down to realise that we belong to nature, we are everlasting forms of energy that move around and act through this ephemeral vehicle we call the body.
Ghost Party is not Goder* or Elphi’s* story. It is not my story either. This is the story of us, products of society against which we are all fighting endlessly.
The photographs used in the video projection all come from the Ghost Child project. The Ghost Child project was itself initially inspired by the Ghost Party project.
Ghost Party comes from the french "La Fête aux Fantômes" which was the title of one of the letters of the son to his father.