Cameras have had a constant presence throughout the process. Ridley's life has been documented through video and through this he has accepted and appears very comfortable in front of cameras. He has started to acknowledge the camera and started playing up to it; he now appreciates it as an audience. There seems a strange parallel between the taxidermy animals and Ridley's attitude to the camera, both being forms of documenting. As the animal has no choice (being dead) to remain still locked in its form of documentation, Ridley also feels that he is partially a slave to the camera. He has begun to want to be fully animated not infront of the camera with privacy. This comes from a drive to be more than documentation: a survival instinct. To form parts of his existence without the camera, so that he can hold onto them after the project.
As I am doing less pshyical activities in front of the camera with Ridley, I have started to feel that he feels neglected a little. We have rarely been fully attached over the past few days and I think this is grating on both of us. Without the feeling of unity and purpose of full manipulation, Ridley is becoming more of a burden. Today in rehearsals Ridley took the lead and this was the most comfortable I had felt in days; it was almost a relief for Ridley to move freely again. This effect of the absence of Ridley's manipulation demonstrates the bond we have created; it was a pleasure fully manipulating him today and this will be missed.
I have really started to feel the physical strain. Whilst walking, the legs of Ridley are wearing away at mine. Alongside this soreness is the limitation of constantly having to wear a coat when out of the house. It heavily restricts my ability to sit comfortable or just relax. Even though it is not hugely thick that extra layer brings forth possibility for new levels of discomfort. I am starting to feel a little trapped at times at Ridley.
Rehearsals have started for the conclusion performance, which is taking the form of Ridley leading. He has found a way to communicate and plans on directly addressing the audience. It is a celebration and an important event in his "life" but he does not believe it to be the end; more of a suspended animation. We have also started reading a book called Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban, which is set in a post-apocalyptic Kent near Canterbury and puppet shows are prominent. I did know of the book until people started asking me about it. It is written in a strange English dialect which forces the reader to slow down and change their approach. This experience is similar to that of mine and Ridley's. He has forced me to slow down, lower my expectations of time...an uncanny coincidence.