Pogo Bar Podcast:
Lamentation No.1: A Smuggler's Guide to Loss
We were having one of our usual phone calls. Talking about life, dealing with the distance the pandemic had enforced upon us. Then there was a suicide that hit your family. Grief overwhelmed us both. I could not reach you. I wanted to cross the border from the UK to the EU, but death is not essential travel. I wanted to smuggle my body across the border. I was not allowed. Instead, I was forced to use my words. To write and read as you moved away into the silence of your family home. This is a call to you, wherever you are, that you are not alone in your grief right now.
Lamentation No.1: A Smuggler’s Guide to Loss are the recorded fragments from the diary I keep, starting on the days of a phone call with a friend and the suicide of his father. From this point on I meditated on what it meant to think about to address those who can no longer respond. Whilst wondering how to carry the weight of loss for another, smuggling words in our bodies, and what it means to become smugglers of the bond, opening our homes to objects and bodies to grieve for those that are no longer here. In these times of distance words and objects are our greatest travellers.
Joshua Leon is an artist, writer and Ph.D. candidate at the Royal College of Art in London researching lament and Jewishness. He works from peripheral positions, moving and thinking through personal and private gestures to access a combination of subjectivity, heritage and a re-staging of voices by blending writing, poetic performance, objects and exhibition making. Within this Leon investigates the conditions that produce precarity and its performativity. Leon’s work is constantly collecting and reordering itself to produce an inventory of life treating conditions and sites as fluid and continuous by unfolding mechanisms for producing meaning.