‘Repeat after us at a normal, conversational volume:’
“I am the Visitor and I have powers.”
In October 2017 artists group non zero one invited Sheila to collaborate with them on take-hold, a visitation / a possession / an occupation, by three muses who take up space inside your head. While you explore the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, The Muses direct you, they care for you, and they push you to test your powers. What are you here to do, Visitor?
‘We’re in. Nestling between your ears, settling in around your thoughts.’
Commissioned as part of the India Unboxed season at University of Cambridge Museums, take-hold looks at power and care in the context of The Museum, particularly in respect of the many objects collected or donated under colonial rule. A museum without a visitor is just a store room, then you make the museum what it is; you’re part of it. And if you’re a part of it, you’re responsible for it. So, The Muses want to know: what do you think about holding things, in museums?
‘There are gloves, and there are holes, and there is glass. A lot of glass.’
At times, it does get a little weird.
Visitors borrow an iPod touch and a pair of headphones at reception, and use this to navigate a journey that lasts 35-45 minutes, depending on where they choose to go. It’s a solo journey, but one which asks you to respond socially, building up a collection of reactions from visitors who use the device itself to share their thoughts with others.
take-hold is a free experience available at anytime during normal MAA opening times until mid-2018:
Tuesday-Saturday: 10:30-16:30 (last admission 15:45)
Sunday: 12:00-16:30 (last admission 15:45)
take-hold is created by non zero one and Sheila Ghelani
Commissioned by University of Cambridge Museums as part of India Unboxed
The Muses: Malavika Anderson, Ava Charles and Sheila Ghelani
Photo documentation: Alice The Camera
Plinths fabricated by: Artplinths
Special thanks to:
Matt Buckley, Mark Elliott, S-J Harknett and Kate Phizacklea at MAA
Ina Pruegel at University of Cambridge Museums
Ananya Mishra, Danika Parikh and Akshyeta Suryanarayan at the University of Cambridge
Emma Martin at the University of Manchester
Ros Fraser at Roundhouse
photo credits: non zero one and Alice The Camera