My Greatest Lover, the Greatest Love Letter                                             Home

Harriet Gore’s performance of her Chamber Philosophy on 3rd March 2018

"There are journeys you have to give yourself to, journeys such as these". So chanted the irrepressible and inimitable Harriet Gore as we travelled with her, as pilot and navigator, into an extraordinary world of ideas and poetry, a world of her own unique creation where LOVE reigns supreme.

Although the performance began with Harriet nowhere in sight, her orchestration of this unique voyage started at the “Lovers' Gates”, where we, the voyagers, inscribed on our palms a word selected from a list which, once in the “Love Juice Exhibition”, another voyager copied onto their forehead and discussion of the represented concepts ensued. So it was that “sleep” met “passion”, “scents” met “leisure”, “dreams” met “adventure”.

We were not though alone. The lights were extinguished, and from the “Power House”, Harriet – face and hands only from behind a screen – introduced us to the theme of her show -  her LOVE letters - her greatest lovers.  “At every single point in time”, she told us, “we are married, to ideas, ideas of things, ideas in the form of names, names formed by ideas, ideas in the form of people, people in the form of ideas, ideas in the form of work, work in the form of ideas, ideas in the form of pleasure, pleasure in the form of ideas  We are pursuing ideas, chasing after ideas, ideas are chasing us, pursuing us to their ends. What you call your idea is what it answers. I call mine LOVE LETTERS. I receive them daily, from my many LOVERS. They receive me always. Here, I share myself, in the form of ideas, the form of letters, my LOVE LETTERS, THE GREATEST LOVERS, THE GREATEST IDEAS, THE IDEAS OF A LOVE LETTER”.

And Harriet certainly did share herself. Moving from behind her screen, veiled in ruby silk, she distributed embraces and LOVE letters amongst us all, before leading us through the “Transition Point of Many Lovers” to the “Red Light District”. There, again from behind a screen, she delivered a powerful polemic against the ills of society - materialism, greed, selfishness, hate, corruption, brute force, guns and bombs - ills which only LOVE can overcome. Here, unlikely juxtaposition was used to striking effect:

“Prostitution is a business with clients

May we all make LOVE our business and our client

May we all practise LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and never stop LOVING”.

A further juxtaposition followed – this time geographical, but no less effective - as we were led into the “Wedding Gown Abode” where masks and screens were no longer needed, but openness and honesty prevailed.  Harriet’s next letter began forcefully with accusation:

“They said they will be there for me

But when I knocked they were not there”,

but ended with gentle understanding and LOVE, about which Harriet is so passionate:

“Please do not be angry because they were out

Please try to understand that just as you went knocking

So, they themselves went knocking...”.

Words and ideas flowed swiftly and seamlessly, the following striking me forcefully with its perspicacity and exhortatory power:

“Our sole purpose is to create memories in each other

Memories here and there

Consciously and unconsciously

Our individual scent, leaves marks wherever we've been

And whoever we touch

And lives in history, present and future”.

Next came the moment for the audience to assist Harriet into her luminescent wedding gown (last worn, to the day, 11 years earlier), each fastening a button and then reading aloud their own personally delivered Love Letter. So it was that each voyager took a turn at the tiller, becoming steerers of the journey and influencing its course.

A change of mood and tempo saw Harriet deliver her witty yet heart-felt ode to sleep, a

s we approached our final destination.

Majestic in her nuptial splendour, in union with the numinous, Harriet revealed her Greatest Love Letter, challenging us with its controversial idea of how the greatest LOVE might be shown by the greatest rejection, and its inspired employment of the Fibonacci sequence as an explanation of why this might be so.

This was a luminous evening of intellectual stimulation and visual delight, of creativity and inventiveness, but most of all of joy and LOVE.