I very much enjoyed Sonder, a 20 minute one on one encounter. Hidden away behind the Blue Bird cafe is a tiny waiting room where you are asked to select bed linen including quilt cover, sheets and pillow cases. The artist Catherine Holder then takes you into a small room, draped with fabric and an unmade bed in the middle of the room. She invites you to make the bed and asks about your linen choices, you then take a polaroid of the bed and add this to a gallery of photos by other audience members. Catherine invites you to create a ‘blindsketch’ of each other, drawing each others face without looking at the paper. We then embark on one minute of ‘eye gazing’, staring into each others eyes. The performance created a small moment of intimacy and sharing, it was a simple and well executed piece of theatre investigating the notion of ‘sonder’.
The Dictionary of Urban Sorrows says that Sonder is:
…the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.