This dictaphone recording from the 26th April 2013 documents the group critique of my project Being Frank. Prior to this recording I had played the group the edited interview extracts of my grandfather’s stories, running to approximately ten minutes in total, and within the critique discussed where the project was currently, where I was thinking of taking it and potential alternatives.
It became clear from talking to the group that listening to ten minutes of interviews would be far too much for audiences to take onboard, and that selecting several or perhaps just one story would be more fruitful. It was also made apparent that by not including my grandfather’s Alzheimer’s disease in the piece in any way, it was negatively affecting the work. I had been resistant to focus on this aspect of the project due to its upsetting nature to me personally, and my desire to not in any way exploit or disrespect someone I cared about. But through the critique process it was suggested that there were many ways I could do this without making it a gimmick or cheapening the piece, both of which I was concerned about beforehand. After this advice I decided more experimentation would be necessary to create a final piece I was satisfied with.
I also advanced my idea for the final presentation of the piece. My concept was to build a replica of the guard hut my grandfather stood in outside Buckingham Palace, and have that function as a soundbooth; visitors would enter the booth and don a pair of headphones to listen to the sound piece. The photographs and artefacts from my grandfather’s time in the army would be presented with the hut for viewers to engage with. It was highlighted that this idea may be impractical, so would require further exploration.