“Until recently, I didn’t allow myself to collect the objects I wanted. MOOP gave me permission to do this…Nay celebrate it.”
MOOP participant, Anonymous, traces back their thoughts and feelings about forming an exhibition for the museum’s launch last year. Here’s how they found the process
Home from meeting MOOP regarding my second involvement in a MOOP event. So much suddenly in me I want to say, I’m shocked by this reaction. It’s like a big bang of expression that I did not expect could be in me. I feel energized and awakened. I will do my best to express what stands out in my memory of the first MOOP thing I did. I’ll do my best to be honest, as i feel it’s in honesty, that expression has its weight.
1st big memory of last year’s involvement in MOOP
Meeting MOOP for the first time, I remember feeling eager that my collection be “good enough” to be invited into MOOP. Probably because of my childhood need for “Mu-ther” (said in a lobotomised orphan in a sepia asylum pic) to affirm me.
2nd big memory of last year’s involvement in MOOP
The first workshop session and agreeing the boundaries of the group. I proffered a rule. I was terrified. Throughout the process my unease would swirl through fear of judgement, anger, rejection from the group and from MOOP.
MOOP memory #3
The build. Unbelievably the collection of objects that my inner voices railed against at every sight, are going to be in a real room, with real people, casting their real eyes on it.
When I arrived, there was a lot of sitting around. I was soothed. Maybe it won’t happen after all?
We begin and it’s very hard work. I clash with someone. It echoes in my guts like swirling barb wire. Someone else is kind. That hurts too.
I plod and plod and do everything except the core piece that I’m meant to do. I call over MOOP’s chief build person. They say they like it all. This is the second time they’ve told me this. Like the first time, what I actually hear is: “that’s an ok selection of stuff, we both know only a small selection is good enough, I’m too busy to say more but its also too late to do anything about this, so just get some stuff into that box, pronto.”
I discard half the collection (into a bin bag, whoosh) I retain what I like the most and try to feel for the rest.
Clock ticking, tension rising, inner rogues gallery all throwing their bits around. Eventually a selection is settled on. Momentarily. Then oscillations betwixt pride, shame and sweat.
People asking all day if I’m staying for “the opening”. Slowly I realise the opening is something for which people dress up, or are at least dust/debris free.
I go for a walk and, true to my “piece”, find some abandoned clothes that fit me perfectly.
No, I didn’t make that up.
MOOP memory #4
A friend of mine damaged an exhibit. I felt ashamed.
MOOP memory #5
After it was all over, we had a closing drink. I was shocked my piece would be coming back to me. I felt let down (“Mu-ther”). How could my soul be of no more interest to my parents?
I packed it away. I was surprised. Or the part of me that wanted to bin it was surprised I’d packed it away.
MOOP memory #6
I have a photo on my fridge of the final exhibit. It is beautiful to me.
Anonymous will be exhibiting “Discarded/Reclaimed” at each of the three events for MOOP: STORIES – the Museum of Ordinary People’s return to the Brighton Fringe in May 2019.