Fergus Johnson – Oct/Nov 2020


so that’s it, the residency comes to a close, Unfinished Fridays finishes and it’s time for me to leave

it was a beautiful evening

they were six beautiful weeks

they were autumn days cold and colourful

they were chatting outside with a cigarette or two

chatting outside with Naïma

we were chatting about rhythm

about how our work and our bodies and our selves leak into each other

how a conversation becomes a frame and suddenly

this thing

this thing you have been creating

this thing that you have dragged with you all the way from home


what we touch we change

what we change changes us

by talking we touched

each others work and each other

we changed

we changed the work the work changes us we changed the work

through talking


so suddenly i feel that my work is also dealing with rhythm

the pulse of poetry

a queer heartbeat


the drumbeat of change

in the end my film is a poem occurring through text but also image

it’s a game of rhythm

black screens beating out the beats between our voices

we are many bodies held in one film of skin

many voices singing collective harmonies of the self

many bodies dancing together in one container

we intersect with ourselves and for a moment are still

then the song continues

maybe this is what the film is about

maybe this is how our talks about rhythm have become manifested

in the black screens between images

in the criss-cross of voices

fragmented rhythms chasing each other round in circles

maybe you could call this work music too

so i end with one more image:

it’s just a shot of my editing desk

but don’t you think it looks like a score?

i guess it is


things change and are fractured. i thought i would be sharing a short solo in the next edition of Unfinished Fridays but the new light lockdown in Berlin means the event was cancelled. then i thought i would be sharing related research that i am working on with friends but our work is about touch so that too has been canceled. now instead i am going to create a short film for the upcoming (online) edition of Unfinished Fridays. things change and are fractured. things are fractured and change. we shift and move into new realities, new bodies, new relations.

fragments emerge and connect. the images i created for the publicity for the abandoned Unfinished Fridays have become inspiration for the emerging work:

these are overlays, images created from stills taken from my research and overlayed with each other as well as anatomical sketches from Blandine Calais-Germaine’s seminal work, ‚Anatomy of Movement‘. now i want to take these images, spontaneous fragments appearing like found objects from the now dead space of an aborted sharing, and create a short film. why not?

my research and part of my practice here in Lake Studios relates to yoga. i have been doing an almost daily yoga practice in the mornings. but even as i thought about my queer body emerging not only from my anatomy but also through the fragmented and fractured process of living my life i somehow excluded the morning practice from this conception. it was disconnected, just something i do in the mornings, almost like a coincidence. so we frame the coincidence. why not include the self that practices in the morning as just one of the many selves that occupy this skin we call body.

from fractures and fragments comes a frame. the image of overlays becomes a skeleton, the morning yoga practice flesh; this new film i will create suddenly finds itself with yoga as a central theme.



as artists we are often asked to write a bio so here is a bio, or a bio-poem or an instant-bio – kinda like instant compostition but instead of composition it’s a bio.

fergus is

fergus is here today this week for six weeks here in lake studios

fergus is here

full of nostalgia, full of the other times, full of mermaids

with green hair this time, green eyes and a quiet room to dream lake-y dreams

this the difference, a resident, sheltered and homed not just visiting but


fergus is

fergus is listening to gwenno, a new favourite

favourite song from the album is this

this gorgeous melody and magic words sung in cornish, what a surprise

to hear cornish, dead language of my childhood homeland, what a surprise to hear

a celtic tongue suddenly spoken from spotify’s shuffle

tasting home in a new home

how strange, how lovely

cornwall is oceans

cliffs, coasts, rocks, waves, salt, salt salt salt salty saltwater kissing me

fergus also is oceans

is water and salt and saltwater

is still a mermaid swimming still rusalka still a sea weasel

is still all about magic and queer creatures reaching out and collective art-making and water and bodies and transformation and the tides and the richness of diving into it and holding your breath and this crazy world of sensation all around us just waiting to be licked and caressed and smelled and eaten up like a yummy treat and then being immersed in it and crying with your friends because it made you sick and you ate to much and crying with your friends because this world is so fucked up and its really not enough just to dance but it really is all we can do and all we can do is go to the sea and the water and let go and let it wash over us and just become it

an ocean

or at least, the imagination of an ocean

fergus wants

to imagine an ocean

to imagine new worlds into possibility

like ursula said

to find the radical political beautiful dangerous wildness in our imaginations


because if i’m imagining a new would into being then i want you to be there

so you can kiss me of course

or maybe so we can kiss each other

if we feel like it

fergus also wants to enjoy these six weeks

to dance and do yoga and research anatomy and phrasing

to meet new friends and invite old ones along for the ride

and cook and stare out the window and wear nice outfits and talk about sabotaging gender and patriarchy and capitalism

yes to that

yes to dancing and enjoying it

yes to this body moving in a new old space

yes to being here and seeing what happens