George Chakravati: To the Man in My Dreams'Also Known as John'
Artangel Interaction in association with SW5 (Terrence Higgins Trust) presented a letter-writing project by artist George Chakravarthi in collaboration with members of SW5, London’s advice and information service for male and transgender sex workers.
To the Man in My Dreams is a collection of letters between someone who calls himself ‘father’ and his offspring ‘George’. But each time they write, their identities change, their stories seem stranger and more unfinished. Is George more than one person? Is he a man? Is ‘daddy’ his real father? Is he alive now, or did he write long ago? Were these letters ever sent?
The project is the result of a letter-writing game developed during workshops led by artist George Chakravarthi with members of SW5. He also invited contributions from punters in bars and pubs in Soho and readers of QX and Boyz magazines. The letter-writing process emerged as a form of imaginative role-play where identities can be swapped and recreated. The only rule is that each letter should be between ‘Father’ and ‘George’
Two events completed this project:
What is it about Fathers?
George Chakravarthi in conversation with Neil Bartlett
Monday 30 October 2006
Madame Jojo’s 8-10 Brewer St, Soho, London W1
Award-winning artist George Chakravarthi talked informally with celebrated author and director Neil Bartlett. They introduced the project and its process, and discussed the questions it provoked around male sex work, father figures and the gay male psyche.
To the Man in My Dreams – Dear Father
George Chakravarthi in performance
Wednesday 1 November 2006
Comptons of Soho 51-53 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1
Over the course of an ordinary pub evening, Chakravarthi wrote the last letter from ‘George’ to ‘Father’. A live video transmission of the letter in-progress was projected nearby. People were invited to watch as he wrote, read the collection of letters, chat to the artist and add their own letters to his archive.
On the 24th November 2006, for Because the Night, Chakravarthi presented a memorial to that last letter to Father from George, a new work titled Also Known as John (pictured above).
This project was supported by Arts Council England, Artangel International Circle, Special Angels and The Company of Angels