Gustavo Ciriacao’s DIY in Yorkshire Sculpture Park


IMG_2293Gustavo Ciríaco
Where the horizon moves

with Yorkshire Sculpture Park
The horizon as a source of fiction and performance, with practices and discussions.

Project summary: 
Where the horizon moves is part of an open-air performance project on landscapes as a shared fictional field. The workshop aims to promote a vivid discussion on horizon as a theme and its history, through group analysis on the use of landscape in different art formats, visits and practices around a specific landscape.

Gustavo in lookout sculpturePlease send an email with a letter of ‘motivation’ explaining your interest in this project and a short biography


The Horizon: 20 years ago I lived in Sheffield in Yorkshire and sat in a castle ruin in a village some miles away. I could strongly imagine strangers appearing on the far off horizon and the fear that would generate, how this story could be told all over the world, different ways we might encounter strangers. I grew up in London, with the idea that strangers have always been my potential companions, possibilities; life both challenges and reinforces this. I live high up in London with an incredible view and can see over and outside the city skyline to the horizon of hills beyond, I imagine it as a mountain-scape. I lived prior to this on a boat on the river, ever conscious of how the water I lived in connected far and wide. I have always been interested in the connections as well as the differences between people and places, interrelations and contradictions rather thP1040454an binary oppositions. The horizon is a fantastic apparently non-liminal place of in-between. The Sculpture park a great example of tame wilderness, a rural location with city values. P1040792


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“Before writing you have the whole Universe, after writing the first paragraph, you only have that paragraph” Italo Calvino , Invisible Cities (as quoted by Gustavo)        P1040625


Gustavo suggested we ask ourselves a number of questions, every decision has a consequence:

What’s your idea/ proposal?

Where do you see it happening?

From where is the viewing point?

Which Art form? “Art is not only the form in itself but the conditions of visibility which it entails”

What am I supposed to see/ think/ feel? (or will this remain open or a stimulus to a possibly un-anticipatable chain of thoughts?)

When does a repeated action become a sculpture?

Going against a rule makes a rule visible

P1040468Suggestions about how to activate memories:

Walking backwards

Walking into a memory: Memories lying in wait


I am experimenting with the live moment and film, having my cake and eating it, being present in the moment while also recording and finessing. While we are in the present moment our attention is often actually elsewhere. By admitting our dependency on being “anywhere but here” using recorded media, thoughts, memories, our mind, I would also to acknowledge and activate our greater sensory and kinaesthetic and aural awarenesses. My interest here is also about transmission and hierarchies between different thinking systems. As a performing artist I am also consistently interested in concepts and relations between artists and spectators.


I am just at the beginning of this experimental process. I began at the Sculpture park by making four recordings which participants could select by choosing a title:

I am not a Village a poem I wrote for a previous project

My horizon a piece of prose i wrote in response to a prompt by Gustavo in the sculpture park

If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in-between me singing a music hall song

The last time I was at the Sculpture Park a confessionial piece of writing

The participants were played these recordings on headphones and given a camera they could use and walked a pre-determined short 5 minute path through the sculpture park. I planned to improvise as I traversed across that path, but i did not adequately prepare myself physically or mentally for this and my performance was poor to non-existent. In retrospect it is obvious that i should have chosen only one recording and then focussed my attention more on the performance/ dance (to some degree my poor performance was also as it came after nearly 18 months without movement practice (a situation I am currently endeavouring to reverse). The piece I should have selected was my recording of my reminiscences about the first time I came to the sculpture park, heartbroken after an abortion, to see a lovely friend’s exhibition here, carrying a large empty suitcase to collect possessions i’d left behind in Sheffield 10 years previously before moving to San Francisco. I felt ashamed of the story, i didn’t share it in the end (no-one picked it). My shame was due to the fact that i felt so much emotion still after all these years, somehow i felt that this story wasn’t tragic enough and so simply indulgent of me to tell my story. I mentioned my constant doubt and hesitation and Gustavo suggested that this must be present in the piece. I will upload this piece to this bog when i figure out how to import audio (just tried and failed). I think that i failed to give my audience agency in the piece. It was not successful.



Everyone says wow what an amazing view. I see it but it doesn’t lift me up anymore. Jaded. Better find some mountains to move to. Maybe because when I moved from the 7th to the 6th floor I got more space and windows but I lost the incredible orange magic of the sunsets. I’m more a sunset than a sunrise girl I suppose, more communal than intimate. When I moved in Siraj had built walls that blocked every vista to the view, vision of the vista. I’ve knocked down so many walls but some structures are just too bloody useful to dismantle. We still see the giant orange summer moons and the later smaller moons arcing over the gas works that just sits there now no longer sloow accordion quiietly pumping, just an estate agent photo/ crappy east end gangster movie backdrop. We can see all the way to the hills of Kent, where the racists sloped off to when London got too interesting, now Foxtons and Ocado’s made here dull and pasty northern European enough for a smug return, my bitterness taints the beauty, my racism mostly directed at my reflection. Vicky Park, The Millenium Dome, City airport, Money, Canary Wharf, Gasworks, Money, Helicopters land and depart on the London hospital roof, that famous designy building, the top of Tower bridge (still excites me a little), cranes, gulls, flats (that used to be council), lights, money, Lights, cranes, gherkin (and an imaginary arse sinking down onto it), Shard (memories of a hideous opening laser show), new ever uglier vanity scrapers, Barbican, flats, cranes, St. Pancras (still excites me a little), the sky the sky the sky, (many skies for very kind of weather), the canal, and crap music floating up from the speakers of slumming hoorays, we can see all the way to Crystal Palace, Alexander Palace, the Queen’s birthday flypast and the red white and blue smoke dropped over Buckingham Palace, money money money money, the parties past and the friends departed, the openings and no more button factory, ballet shoe warehouse, Floyd, Spirit, Tony’s café, sweatshops, Silke, Tina, Hannes, Maia, Graham was over the other day, Tomoko and Sebastian back for the month, God it was all so exciting and it still is for those hoorays from Kent, this skyline ain’t for us, dare I tip-toe to the horizon beyond? When I left London before it was the whole world I eventually felt homesick for.


If you saw my little backyard
“Wot a pretty spot”, you’d cry
It’s a picture on a sunny summer day
Wiv the turnip tops and cabbages
Wot people doesn’t buy
I makes it on a Sunday look all gay

The neighbours finks I grow ’em,
And you’d fancy you’re in Kent
Or at Epsom if you gaze into the mews
It’s a wonder as the landlord
Doesn’t want to raise the rent
Because we have such nobby distant views

Oh! it really is a wery pretty garden
And Chingford to the Eastward could be seen
Wiv a ladder and some glasses
You could see to ‘Ackney Marshes
If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between

We’re as countrified as can be
Wiv a clothes prop for a tree
The tub-stool makes a rustic little stile
Ev’ry time the blooming clock strikes
There’s a cuckoo sings to me
And I’ve painted up “To Leather Lane A Mile”

Wiv tomatoes and wiv radishes
Wot ‘adn’t any sale
The backyard looks a purfick mass o’ bloom
And I’ve made a little beehive
Wiv some beetles in a pail
And a pitchfork wiv the ‘andle of a broom

Oh! it really is a wery pretty garden
And Rye ‘Ouse from the cock-loft could be seen
Where the chickweed man undresses
To bathe ‘mong the water cresses
If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between

There’s the bunny shares his egg box
Wiv the cross-eyed cock and hen
Though they ‘as got the pip and him the ‘morf
In a dog’s ‘ouse on the line-post
There was pigeons, nine or ten
Till someone took a brick and knocked it off

The dust cart though it seldom comes
Is just like ‘Arvest ‘Ome
And we made to rig a dairy up some’ow
Put the donkey in the wash’ouse
Wiv some imitation ‘orns,
For we’re teaching im to moo just like a kah

Oh! it really is a wery pretty garden
And ‘Endon to the westward could be seen
And by clinging to the chimbley
You could see across to Wembley
If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between

Though the gasworks is at Woolwich
They improve the rural scene
For mountains they would very nicely pass
There’s the mushrooms in the dust-hole
With the cowumbers so green
It only wants a bit ‘o ‘ot ‘ouse glass

I wears this milkman’s nightshirt
And I sits outside all day
Like the ploughboy cove what’s mizzled o’er the Lea
And when I goes indoors at night
They dunno what I say
‘Cause my language gets as yokel as can be

Oh! it really is a wery pretty garden
And soapworks from the ‘ousetops could be seen
If I got a rope and pulley
I’d enjoy the breeze more fully
If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between

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