A Silent War - Lacunae

A Silent War - Lacunae

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Details

Location

Belfast, University of Atypical

Year

2021

Date

Length

03min 02sec

Audio

silent

Format

Digital

colour

Source

Courtesy

Hands That Sign, Paula Clarke, Ross Thompson

Rights Holder

Northern Ireland Screen, Ross Thompson

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.

Description

 Lacunae by Ross Thompson, written during 2020 Lockdown

1.
In the abandoned Louvre that afternoon,
we gazed upon the rectangular space
where the Mona Lisa once hung before

she amscrayed, was volée, was replaced 
by a transparent frame of bulletproof 
glass entirely empty save for a few 

sachets of silica gel, a slab 
of climate-controlled nothingness
housing a phantom portrait: a blank 

canvas rendered in vanishing
paint made up of brushstrokes so fine
they were negligible, points so small

they were invisible, disappeared
one feature at a time, headdress first, 
then her pearls, next her eyelashes

and brows, then her enigmatic smile,
each part erased as if doused in pungent
turpentine. A masterpiece of absence. 

2.
An hour later, in the museum café, 
we ate substanceless croissants
and drank sugar-free lemonade,

neither of us breaking the dead air
until someone closed the tills, switched off the lights
and let us disappear into the dark.

Credits

Lacunae by Ross Thompson
BSL translation and performance by Paula Clarke
Filmed in University of Atypical by Stuart Calvin
A Silent War Creative Producers: Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell & Ann Donnelly
Funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen

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