10 Stories for 1001.net.au

For 10 Stories (thumbnail), photo Cynthia Troup

OBLIVION AND THREE FRAGMENTS

Wall (present, informal)

Me I walk uphill beside a wall on my way to work. It’s a respectable, historic brick wall around a school yard. Children’s voices evoke little scenes behind it, and games with stones. Once, while I strode past her at the wall, a woman spoke to me there. As if we were dear friends.

You You were running late. You’re always running late.

Me I was sweating horribly, and angry, and the wall did seem to slow me down, as monuments do. She stood by herself exactly in the middle of the footpath, with one thin arm and hand extended to touch the bricks. They’re vaguely warmed by the morning sun.

You Walls attract and repel, like magnets.

Me She was silvery-old, but tall, somehow both very frail and very dignified; she had a handsome briefcase beside her. That day, the proportions seemed all wrong to me and I wanted to be rude. …

From 21 June 2005 artist Barbara Campbell began her durational performance 1001 nights cast. As the title suggests, the project addressed the myth of Scheherazade and the ancient storytelling heritage gathered into The Arabian Nights. Until 17 March 2008, wherever she was based, Campbell told a new short story at sunset, each performance webcast live across the globe. The day’s story had been written in response to a prompt created by Campbell in watercolour: an image of words sourced from news reportage concerning the Middle East. 1001 nights cast eventually involved a total of 243 writers from around the world, and culminated in a final webcast before a live audience at at Sydney’s Carriageworks. All 1001 stories can be read and downloaded at 1001.net.au, a searchable archive of this prodigious work.

Performance History

2007
16 November: Sydney, ‘Go further’ webcast live by Barbara Campbell, performance number 879 of her 1001 nights cast; read here
27 March: Sydney, ‘Beverly. Goody-two-shoes’ webcast live by Barbara Campbell, performance number 645 of her 1001 nights cast; read here
2006
9 December: Sydney, ‘For your considerate science’ webcast live by Barbara Campbell, performance number 537 of her 1001 nights cast; read here
12 August 2006: London, ‘Inventory and then’ webcast live by Barbara Campbell, performance number 418 of her 1001 nights cast; read here
6 June: Sydney, ‘Oblivion and three fragments’ webcast live by Barbara Campbell, performance number 351 of her 1001 nights cast; read here
4 April: Sydney, ‘One cat and dog’ webcast live by Barbara Campbell, performance number 288 of her 1001 nights cast; read here
7 January: Sydney, ‘Trifle’ webcast live by Barbara Campbell, performance number 201 of her 1001 nights cast; read here
2005
18 November: Sydney, ‘A lost year’ webcast live by Barbara Campbell, performance number 151 of her 1001 nights cast; read here
26 September: Paris, ‘The sound was cut’ webcast live by Barbara Campbell, performance number 98 of her 1001 nights cast; read here
21 August: Paris, ‘High summer by the lake’ webcast live by Barbara Campbell, performance number 62 of her 1001 nights cast; read here