Paul Becker

In Camera

8 July – 1 October 2013

8 July – 1 October 2013

  • Stephenson Works, South Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3PE

in camera

what exactly goes on is only to be imagined hinted guessed at or tilted towards a listening at the door a nose poking a poking of a nose through a letterbox picking up a sniff of nothing much at all to be honest eyeing a likely scratch on the brass of the keyway that surely was never there before though watched greedily by turns by a hundred different sets of eyes for the last week night and day no sign at all at all hours no one coming in and nothing coming out outmanoeuvred left to wonder to stare into the hole discussion leads to no answers no ingress into the problem opinions differ some few imputing malevolent intent to whatever exists behind the door that door as though therein lies a what a cabal of some description perhaps a secret society that might well stand in judgement upon those deemed less worthy certainly there remains half a certainty among such doubting thomases at least half a certainty about what trick is being played upon them for sure for surely they say surely it is a trick it must be they say a set of tricks a way of distracting from the real heart of the thing which in effect they argue is well has to be meaningless they argue that the very act of distracting the need to distract leaves a false suspicion that there is a reason for it that there exists at the centre a meaning the actual lack of which this whole charade is presented to divert attention from they say it is maddening and leaves the mind far too free far too open to suggestion to the promise of some revelation the belief that secrets are being conceived at the same time as they are hidden that plots are being hatched and other yes admittedly sometimes bizarre and perhaps wrongheaded misapprehensions for example most recently in the last few moments for example the rumour mill started grinding out this rather mad sounding story about benedictions benedictions being awarded to only a select few an elite band who it was said were being herded together along underground walkways tunnels leading from the train station up into some inner sanctum the presence of which has always been acknowledged as possible tunnels that really exist so they say herded along these tunnels to receive who knows what manner of blessing and a great furore has blown up as to why this has had to take place in secret and what about the rest where is the missing blessing where is the opportunity for others to receive this unspecified unction standing on the shoulders of the one below to try and get a peek through that well covered window where surely some overlooked chink or gap in the curtain must indeed has to grant the eye hungry for the best guess a sort of access the posting of notes through the door has begun again sealed letters and scribbled lines requesting some long withheld permission petitioning for admission post it notes and letters stuck to the door by the score hundreds and hundreds in pink lemon pastels and bright day glo hues multi coloured butterflies washed away by the endless rain blown down the street by the relentless wind then by the morning again somehow miraculously pinned thick upon the door and all around the frame read the messages note that what began as questions and became prayers entreaties well now now if they remain long enough to be read they are filled with promises votives messages of thanks to what some unconvincingly argue is only an absence only a locked and bolted admission and now it is understood there is to be an attempt made to storm the door to burn it to smash the walls through to tear the bars from the windows and now hammers and axes appear from nowhere and a great spontaneous debate is begun as to the efficacy of such an adventure some saying that by attempting to gain such rudimentary access to the inside it is possible that everything could be destroyed that if all the devils are exorcized the angels might decide to take flight as well and this and a thousand different points are discussed with teams arguing in midnight relays of talk for and against naturally as well as the whispered advocacy of a so called middle way which none can agree on of course and after many days of this the whole reason for this that or any of it has been long forgotten and nothing is decided and the circle of things continues the watching the waiting for signs the spying the leaving of messages on the door and the suppositions continue the imaginings a great whole a chasms lip a chasm that extends depp down black and a vast emptiness the dropped stone the spit will never sound or a treasure house a great strong room filled with bar gold and a thousand other projections imaginings breaking like a wave against that door and dissipating but now this evening for the first time it is reported that sounds are heard stirrings within as if as though small items of furniture are being moved about chairs slowly pulled across well carpeted floors tables placed as though in expectation of a meeting a meeting of some sort though the source of this new rumour is impossible to verify so and so heard it from a friend of so and so etcetera and so there is another strange silent stampede about the place which eventually ends up as a vigil around the door which everyone attends eagerly waiting some sign some sound and there is a new sense of anticipation that something a sign of something will at last be revealed not just to the cognoscenti the hushcloaked existences of those few rumoured to have been sequestered within and blessed and as the assembled souls wait in the thin rain that soaks deep into their clothes and chills the skin as this great rabble huddles together around the door that keen sense of soon to be rewarded hope grows increasingly strong almost palpable and thick in the air even the babies are silent and now just before dawn the atmosphere is unbearable as though the tension could crack open a great hole a fissure in the earth create its own weather system electric forcefield shatter the door with a first and final bolt of lightning and teeth grind with it and fists are clenched with it and muscles begin to ache with the tension hair standing on end pupils widening lips dry mouths parched with the tautness of waiting an old woman kneels against the door her head against the door and appears to pray and there is a calming a numbing of fears and then her words begin to be discerned as she speaks louder steadily louder and no they are not an incantation or a reassuringly devotional prayer no there is nothing no meaning at all nothing I she gabbles I    nuh   ch   ch      ch ch whuh         whuh  k   k k        no an      th th th swerr  swerr  na   nahh               ka     ka      ka    ra ra  roht rohht               prt prrt prrrttt na nan an nan a nuh                                                   na nan nu an nuh a nuh               na           nan nu an nuh   pu pu   fu fu guh    guh    guh

8 July – 1 October 2013

  • Stephenson Works, South Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3PE