Winner if the Brighton Fringe Visual Arts Award in Association with HOUSE and AOH.
MOOP is a new kind of museum that tells the stories of ordinary people, exploring and considering the magic and mundanity of ordinary life, chronicling hidden narratives and celebrating the ripples that we leave behind. It serves as an antidote to celebrity mania and the pervasive cultural construct of presenting picture-perfect versions of our lives. It is also a direct rebellion against an already well-established canon of museums celebrating the lives of the elite. MOOP is a temporary / pop-up museum running for one week during the Brighton Fringe Festival presenting collections created by and about ordinary people, as part of a wider programme of events that includes performances, talks and workshops.
5 Dec - 28 Dec | 10:00 to 18:00 | Free Entrance
Jubilee Library, Brighton
BE PART OF THE MUSEUM OF ORDINARY PEOPLE’S NEXT EXHIBITION…
The award-winning Museum of Ordinary People (MOOP) returns to Brighton in December for a special exhibition – and we are calling out to members of the public to help us create it.
From December 5th-29th, MOOP will host a pop-up exhibition at Brighton’s Jubilee Library called MINI MOOP: CHRISTMAS and will be an exploration of people’s Christmas memories, told through everyday objects.
We are seeking to borrow items from the public that we can include in the exhibition.
Are you able to contribute any of the following?
- A Christmas decoration with a story behind it?
- An object that represents a story about Christmas with your family / What Christmas means to you
- An object or photo that represent Brighton’s festive traditions from the past?
“This angel was made by my great grandfather when he was a child and has been passed down through my family. I never met my great grandfather, he died before I was born, and this angel always given me the heebie jeebies. It’s like a ghostly presence on our happy Christmas tree.”
“Christmas reminds me of huge meals, eating more than I need, and sleeping it off afterwards. This gravy boat only ever comes out at Christmas. It makes me think of the sour smell of brussel sprouts, and of soggy yorkshire puddings covered in thick gravy – the way my dad makes it – and snoozing on the sofa during the Queen’s speech.”
“This photo is of the switching on ceremony for the Brighton Christmas lights on Western Road in 1959. I proposed to my wife by the Clock Tower, I got down on one knee on the icy pavement. She clasped her red-gloved hand to her mouth in surprise. The lights have changed so much since then, but they still remind me of the nervous excitement I felt that night.”
Objects do not have to tell a happy story, the festive time is not easy for everyone, and we are also interested in objects from contributors who do not celebrate Christmas.
How to take part
Take your object and drop it off at one of the MOOP collection boxes in the following Brighton libraries from the 5th November:
Please make sure that your object is:
· Safely wrapped to avoid damage (as if you are sending it by post) and sealed in an envelope.
· Accompanied by a handwritten story on one side of paper, describing the Christmas story that goes with it, and how the object makes you feel / what memories it triggers. Be as descriptive and emotionally honest as possible.
· Accompanied by your name and phone number/email address in case we need to contact you.
· If your object is flat and easy to return in the post, please include a stamped self-addressed envelope and we will post the item back to you after the exhibition has finished (from December 19th).
· If the object is too delicate or bulky to return by post, please include an envelope with just your name on it and the name of the library you are dropping off at, and your object will be returned in the box to that library after the exhibition for you to collect (safely stored).
· If you are happy for MOOP to keep your object and add it to our archive, then there’s no need to include an envelope (Instead enclose a signed note saying that you are happy for the museum to keep the object).
With Christmas decorations:
· There will be labels inside each of the drop off boxes for you to write on. For the exhibition these will be attached to your decoration and hung on a Christmas tree in Jubilee Library.
· Please hand write your story on the label and place this label in the envelope with the decoration.
While MOOP and the library will take the utmost care of your objects, we cannot be responsible for any damage caused to it. Please do not include objects of significant financial value.
If you have any other questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 07843 560 139.
The Story of MOOP
In 2016 theatre practitioner and company director Jolie Booth developed her first and critically acclaimed one-woman-show HIP. Produced under her company name Kriya Arts - a cutting edge arts and production company, HIP explored the life of an ordinary woman named Anne Clarke, whom Jolie had discovered through found objects left behind in a flat she squatted in 2002. The flat had been left empty for over a decade and had become a magical time capsule back to the 1980's and 1970's.
A year later, based on further discoveries made about Anne's life and the city of Brighton they had both inhabited at different times in history, Jolie created an interactive walking tour called the Hip Trip of Brighton: A Psychedelic Wander, which explored Anne's Brighton by sharing with participants the places where the beatniks, hippies and punks had hung out and a little about what they'd got up to.
Lucy Malone came on one of these walking-tours and afterwards in the pub Jolie shared with her an idea she'd been mulling over for some time of creating a Museum of Ordinary People. A permanent space where people who had found or inherited an archive of documents or objects could explore and share that person's story.
This idea resonated with Lucy because she was also creating work along a similar theme. When Lucy's mother passed away suddenly in 2011 Lucy inherited all of her belongings. For five years these remained in boxes, until as her final project / dissertation on her BA in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College; Lucy opened the boxes and discovered what was in the notebooks, envelopes and lists, in order to assemble an archive of her mother's artistic practice, creating a research project and art piece which combined practice-based research methodologies to look at memory, loss, grief and materiality.
When speaking to each other in the pub after the walking tour, back in May 2017, Jolie and Lucy realised there were many parallels between their work and both became excited at the prospect of working together. They began to meet regularly and dream, over many hot chocolates, how to get this exciting project off the ground... Thus, this pop-up version of MOOP was born... With much bigger dreams to follow.
What's happened so far?
Through a public call-out we found nine participants with collections of letters, diaries, documents, found objects and random artefacts that tell a story they wanted to explore further. We then invited them to take part in a series of free workshops. These workshops tutored the participants in creative methods to explore, present and exhibit their collections. It is these collections that we presented at MOOP as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival in May and won the Brighton Fringe Visual Arts Award in Association with HOUSE and AOH. They served to chronicle migrations, loss, health issues, great loves, addictions, family ties, uncompromising silences, political injustices and everything in between... Since then we have run a series of talks, delving deeper into themes that arose during the creation of MOOP. The first set of talks were on Museums and one on Action. More talks are planned for 2019. We then ran a MOOP event called "Find the magic in the mundane" for the Brighton Summit 2018, where participants were asked to pick an object that emotionally resonated with them and their business, then to leave a business card, and see which delegates responded. Last, but not least, there is a new planned MINI MOOP: CHRISTMAS that will take place at the Jubilee Library from 5th to 29th Dec, open for free to the public during library opening hours. This collection has been created through a public call-out and explores the festive period through objects and stories from local people.
We are also going to be running a series of participatory talks around contemporary issues such as collecting, museums, everyday life and more in various locations around the UK.
Beyond this we will be taking our pop-up museum and collections on tour to other cities in the UK and around the world, seeking to challenge common perceptions of the role of museums in society.
In the larger picture we aim to find a permanent home for the Museum of Ordinary People and are looking for premises. Our dream is to become one of Europe's most innovative museums.
Street Scaffolding, Nicholas Bartlett (NPB88), Love Campers, The Military Man & Birkbeck College.
With special thanks to…
Rose Dykins, Mish Maudsley, The Spire, Marlborough Theatre, Laptop Chap, Ramsay James, Ingrid Wakeling, Simon Booth and all our lovely volunteers.
Karen Dunnell, Nicholas Peter Bartlett and Paul Stewart
And our supporters:
Chris Callard, Krystle Burke, Sally Trivett, Deborah Leighton Plom, Victoria Hueber, Sharon Scaife, Chris Carr, Carmen Talbot, Catherine Swann, Amanda Rivers, Marie Danielle, Barbara Duffy, Katie Gorman, Marion, Lidwine Titli, Claus Sprotte Kofod, Bruce Knight, Jane Church, Sue Breakell, Michael Whitehouse, Dan Hope, Rose Turner, Pati Puente Jemima Queen, Alice O'Hanlon, Clare Burgess, Jackie Blake, Mike Marlor, Hayley Watson, Adele Walshe, Ruth Edwina Herbert, Emily Hecht, Holly Hardy, Jessica Cheetham, Michael and Liz, Jo Henderson, Esther Gill, Vahsti Hale, Summer Dean, Charlotte Mears, Ian Blamire, Laura Napier, Daryl Jackson, Sarah Locke, Joe Sharp, Richard Martin, Julie Hudson, Lauren Gallagher, Melody Razak, Paul Crowe, Matthew Birchall, Lynne Pike, Kate Edwards, Becca Flint, Todd Render, Felicity Carter, Sammy Goodall, Rebecca Sands, Gemma Wallace, Nicci Wonnacott, Anan Danugrah, Valerie Titli, Jess Lebon, Epha Roe, Leo Brown, Penny Swainson, Danny, Mark, Jacqui Bassett, Akasha S. Hodge, Clara Gutteridge, Theresa Pierce, Andy Pierce, Zoe Adler, Dave Robinson, Megan Kieran, Taji Nuvtej, Beth Hale, Jackie Holmes, Nicci Wonnacott, Emma Owen, Holly Hassan, Jenny, Kate Hill, Catherine Rees, Gemma Ashdown.