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spacer Talking to Tania
Dialogue 1
Dialogue 2
Dialogue 3
Dialogue 4
Dialogue 5
Dialogue 6

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Richard Layzell – Talking to Tania 12
June 2009 • Colchester

RL I'm still having nightmares about the key for St Martins. They go like this: I arrive at the church in the early morning and find I've either lost the key or it won't turn in the padlock. Or I get a text message from Anthony while I'm asleep saying I have to pick up the key from the manager of Woolworths or the assistant manager of Williams and Griffin and when I finally arrive they're out or on holiday or been made redundant. Then I look down and realise I've forgotten my shoes. It's awful, Tania.

TK Are these your normal anxiety levels or is this something to do with Freeds?

RL Freeds?

TK You'd been putting it off for months, the visit to Freeds Exclusive Ballet Shoes at 92 St Martins Lane London. Last week you finally made it and came clean about this being Phoebe's last known address in 1881 and who she is/was to you. I mean isn't this enough to disturb the sleep of someone like you?

RL You mean the link between this St Martins and that St Martins and that Phoebe got married at St Martins in the Fields a couple of years before ending up a widow in lodgings above Freeds?
Or like when I confused those two Phoebes (Davies and Brookes) by sending the wrong email to the right Phoebe and then followed up with "I can't believe I know two Phoebes, it's such a great name" a year before the discovery that I had a Phoebe direct ancestor in Colchester, the very town where I've worked so frequently, almost as much as London?

TK Not really. Maybe you should cut down on the caffeine. I'm not referring to the coincidences, I'm talking about The Manifestation. The trip to Freeds was about the shoes as well. They were in the thinking. We needed a pair. This Manifestation of our collaboration has an official subtitle for the first time, you may recall. Colchester was the obvious place to foreground Falling Phoebe.

RL I know, I know. I'm not stupid. I was there when we agreed on this. And let's face it, the two common elements in all the showings of The Manifestation have been Falling Phoebe and The Stumbling Block. But you thought it needed some explanation in London at Cafe Gallery Projects.

TK It did. I was right. I wrote it and it was much admired. In fact we could do with it here.

RL I thought we weren't having titles in St Martins because the works have become intertwined.

TK Nice terminology, bad memory. I don't remember us discussing titles. I suggest we repeat my statement about Falling Phoebe here in any case, integrated into the Dialogue, then it's covered, feet first.

RL OK, if you must. I really don't think it's necessary…

RL Satisfied? This has, unfortun-ately, reminded me that this particular text marked the start of your 'statements', your proclamations.

TK Sensitive subject? I notice the designer chose the photo of you standing behind one of my Statements from the Stroud Manifestation for the St Martins poster and flier. Coincidence? Or could there be some recognition of quality here? Or even a lesson for Layzell, who's tried to diminish my voice for so long.

RL What about your Statement for this Manifestation then, your 'Shame on you'? Is there no place for it? Or have you curated it out, along with the previous Stumbling Block?

TK What are you talking about? These are joint decisions. Just because I'm individually credited for the Statements you get shirty. This is a position of integrity. The work is incomplete without an indication of authorship. And it will be from a position of integrity that the decision is made whether this Statement is in or out.
As for The Stumbling Block, you're not making sense. Nothing is fixed. Least of all The Stumbling Block, which, to my knowledge, has had three different configurations to date. It remains a challenge of spiritual dimensions.

RL That's all very well, but how can the wedges which supported the Dialogue to the wall in London and Stroud become the Stumbling Blocks in Colchester?

TK Because you keep tripping over them. Because they're unexpected. Because they crept up on us. Because they reference The Perfect Image and Falling Phoebe in their slanting recumbence. And they break the rules.

RL You've already broken the rules by insisting on including your authored text on Falling Phoebe into this Dialogue. I'd like to break the rules too at this point and paste in my authored card of 'A Stumbling Block at the Foot of The Wrekin' right here, in recognition of its rural stump origins (16th cent).

TK Fine, let's keep this running then. I was struck by how Phoebe's marriage certificate held the gaze at this level. I think it should be in. At postcard size it's a different engagement.

RL Yes, yes. But we're running out of space here and I'm a little concerned about the status of The Perfect Image, The Radiant Curve, The Table Project and International Cleaning.

TK Jesus. Why don't you go and take a walk down St Botolph's Street. Have a coffee. Avoid Starbucks. Take your camera. We need a general street shot for the shelf installation. We only have historic postcard views. Leave the rest to me. No need to hurry back.
Oh, yes, and we need to make it clear that this is the end of the Dialogue, not the beginning. We start with your dreams, over there on the other side of The Radiant Curve.

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