Ten months ago, a group of young artists in their 20s, with and without disability, sat down and listed everything we don’t know.
Since then, Shopfront’s Harness Ensemble have been locating all our ignorance and categorising it in an attempt to gain some control over everything unknown to us.
The result is The Experts, premiering at Sydney Fringe 2019.
My experience as a 20-something emerging artist making a show about ignorance has been a rollercoaster. I’ve admitted that I can’t boil an egg without Google, don’t know if I’ll ever be able to buy a house, and that I don’t know how to be completely comfortable with myself.
At the same time there have been things I’ve learned since the process started. I now know what my bra size is, how to soothe myself during a panic attack, and I am getting very close to being able to do a handstand.
These vulnerabilities have all been supported by the other members of the Harness Ensemble as we wrestle with our ignorance together. We have consoled each other through spirals of self-doubt and celebrated the dizzying revelations that have resulted.
Our ensemble is a group of young artists with diverse lived experiences.
Some of us don’t know how to drive, some of us can’t tie our shoes, most of us don’t know what will happen after we die. We’ve found comfort in the fact that although we are each so different, there is a similarity in our ignorance. Regardless of gender, sexuality, ability, mental illness or any other difference, we are all human and we are all doing our best to figure out what we are doing.
Our list of ‘I don’t knows’ doesn’t define our worth or how well we are ‘adulting.’ Ten months later, we now have a sense of freedom, accepting that there will always be things we don’t know and all we can do is keep doing our best.
The Experts is the result of our journey of ignorance and knowledge. It presents a world where we try to make sense of the all the things that we don’t know. The world we have created is absurd. It’s quirky. It’s sad. It’s messy. It’s hopeful. At the end of the day, no one can know it all, so why don’t we just embrace our ignorance?
The Experts plays in the Marana Auditorium, Hurstville Entertainment Centre, September 18-19