i don't know how to say i'm sorry – OPEN CALL
‘Forgiveness is mad, and […] it must remain a madness of the impossible’
– Jacques Derrida, ‘On Forgiveness’
‘Making an apology […] is like initiating a first kiss. It demands bravery. It demands a willingness to be rebuffed, combined with a sturdy belief that the moment is right’
– Jay Rayner, ‘The Apologist’
i don’t know how to say i’m sorry is a video project centred around the question: how does one begin to ask for forgiveness?
In the face of a fractured global socio-political climate, i don’t know how to say i’m sorry asks how we might account for our actions and begin to heal. It is a participatory project that unfolds in multiple parts and is co-created between the artist and a participant:
The first part of the project consists of a conversation between the artist and participant about an apology they never received but wish they had. This could perhaps be an apology from someone who has passed away, someone who refuses to apologise or even someone who they have lost contact with. Thereafter, the artist will work with the participant to fantasise about how this apology might take place. They will be encouraged to think about what might be said in the apology, where and how it might take place etc.
The second part of this project involves a filmed re-enactment of the imagined apology with the artist stepping into the role of the apologiser. Based on the initial conversation with the participant, the artist will craft an apology for the participant that addresses what they need from the apologiser. The artist will also dress up as the person and choose a location for the apology that matches how they imagine it taking place. Finally, both artist and participant will re-create the apology in an unscripted meeting.
Commitment: Total of 8 hours spread over a maximum of 3 days (to be agreed between artist and participant)
Each participant will receive S$100 for their participation.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to express interest and for more information.
i don’t know how to say i’m sorry was first conceptualised at MAKE 2019 – a week-long artist residency at the Tyrone Guthrie centre in Ireland supported by Cork Midsummer Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, Project Arts Centre and Theatre Forum – and is funded by the Awesome Foundation (Singapore).
Sharing intimate details about personal trauma as part of an artistic process can be scary and vulnerable. Therefore, this Care Policy has been devised to put measures in place to protect both the participant and the artist. The following measures will be put in place during this process:
- During the first meeting, both artist and participant will discuss the terms of the project. The artist will explain the entire process in detail and the participant will be given an opportunity to ask questions or voice any concerns.
There will be an agreement between both participant and artist to maintain open lines of communication throughout the project.
There should be an acknowledgement that although this project has a relational and possibly therapeutic element to it, the artist is not a trained therapist or mental health professional. Therefore, the participant should keep this in mind when agreeing to take part in the project.
The participant will be asked to sign a release form before filming, allowing the artist to film them and use their likeness for the purposes of this project.
Every effort will be made to provide a safe space for the participant during the project. This includes but is not limited to:
Acknowledging that an apology is an intimate act and therefore minimising the number of people involved during the filming so as to not make the participant feel exposed.
Providing a space to decompress and reflect (with or without the presence of the artist) at each stage of the project.
The participant is free to bring a trusted companion to accompany them at each stage of the project.
The artist will check in with the participant at regular intervals both during and after the project has ended to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the participant.
The participant will be shown an edit of the film prior to it being released publicly.
Both the participant and artist can stop and withdraw from the project at any stage of the project with no questions asked.