Natacha Diels, Sam Scranton, Down the Rabbit Hole
I Love Myself Fully and Unconditionally

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“As soon as I make space to hear sounds like this, or to dream them, then I feel the strength to face the city again or even to be playful with it. Play with the monster, then I can face the monster”.
- from Kit’s Beach Sound Walk by Hildegard Westerkamp

I Love Myself Fully and Unconditionally (ILMFAU) is equal parts installation and individual guided tour.

As an installation, ILMFAU makes light but assertive interventions into different Kunsthall´s spaces utilizing sound, light, and video projections. It seeks not to erase the identity of the rooms, but to augment them to create new dream-like narratives and experiences. We enter the building through a private divination booth, walk down stairs to a butterfly conservatory, pass through a center for sound healing and a stage for a singing orchid… Rooms maintain their identity, but become layered with potentialities and actualisations.

As an individual guided tour, ILMFAU activates the dream narrative. Guests enter at five-minute intervals for tours lasting 25-30 minutes. Guides deliver one-on-one tours incorporating languages of healing, sugary pop lyrics, and fantasy, with the goal of creating an alternate reality that uses theatrical distance to open intimate personal spaces.

By engaging as active listeners of the space and being present throughout the tour and after, ILMFAU is, like Westerkamp’s work, a political act. The active participant functions as a site of resistance especially given the modern-day saturation of commercial sound and the unrelenting ubiquity of mass media, and the revelation of their ‘personal’ is a refreshing voicing of a voiceless, a megaphone to that which has been silenced. At its most aspirational, ILMFAU acts as brief escape for self-actualisation, putting forth a space where participants can engage with their monster and in so doing, face it, and realize their potentials.

ILMFAU was originally commissioned for the 2018 Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt in partnership with Nadar Ensemble’s Our Ears Program and first installed in Oetinger Villa, a Ducal mansion built in 1898, now existing as an autonomous cultural center.

An adaptation for Bergen Kunsthall will be created during a residency, as part of Re-Imagine Europe project co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.