To the Man in My Dreams
London, UK - 2006
To the Man in My Dreams is a collaborative letter-writing project with members of the former SW5, London’s advice and information service for male and transgendered sex workers.
To the Man in My Dreams is a collection of letters between someone who calls himself ‘father’ and his offspring ‘George’. But each time they write, their identity changes, their stories seem stranger and more unfinished. Is George more than one person? Is he a man? Is ‘daddy’ his real father? Is he alive now? or did he write long ago? Were these letters ever sent?
This project was part of Artangel Interaction’s Nights of London series of artist-led projects exploring the city with the people who wake, work or watch over it (see www.artangel.org.uk). To the Man in My Dreams is a result of a letter-writing game developed during workshops led by Chakravarthi with members of SW5. Contributors were also invited from punters in bars and pubs in Soho and readers of QX and Boyz magazines. The letter-writing process emerged as a form of imaginative role-play where identities can be swapped and recreated. The only rule is that each letter should be between ‘Father and George’.
Two events completed this project.
What is it about fathers?
George Chakravarthi in conversation with author-director Neil Bartlett at Madame Jojo’s
Chakravarthi talks informally with celebrated author-director Neil Bartlett. They introduce the project and its process, and discuss the questions it provokes around male sex work, father figures and the gay male psyche.
Over the course of an ordinary pub evening, Chakravarthi wrote the last letter from ‘George’ to ‘Father’. A live video transmission of the letter-in-progress was projected nearby. You were invited to watch as he wrote, read the collection of letters, chat to the artist and add your own letter to his archive.
As a final event, the letters were displayed as an installation at Bethnal Green Town Hall as a memorial for Chakravarthi's own father for Artangel’s ‘Because The Night’ event.