A solo performance by Mustaq Missouri
Written and Directed by Melissa Laing.
Film created by Melissa Laing
Standing at the edge was created as a site responsive performance. While it was unable to be performed to a live audience due to Covid-19, we filmed a scheduled dress rehearsal on 23 March 2020 at NorthWest Westgate, Auckland, New Zealand.
“Imagine that, in the middle of a vast city, you might be so intimately connected to your community that you cannot leave your house without a serendipitous encounter.”
This is the world that our guide is dreaming of as he negotiates life after he’s made redundant. He takes us on a walk through the streets and gravel lots of the town centre, showing us development sites undergoing rapid change, and helping us see the possibilities of the place differently. He wants you to dream with him.
Standing at the Edge is a meditation on the relationships between property, debt, work and community as they play out on the suburban fringes of Auckland. Our guide, Missouri, performs the story of a man balancing financial obligations against dreams of social and economic change. He’s questioning what we value and why.
Woven into the story are histories of failed and successful attempts to build alternative communities and create change through labour activism.
Standing at the edge was created for Walking about, a series of performative and participatory walks that travel across Auckland with Te Hau ā Uru – the West Wind. Walking about is presented by Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in partnership with curators Christina Houghton and Melissa Laing.
Melissa Laing is an artist, a writer and curator who explores the creative spaces between art, ethics and politics. Recently she has taken people on ‘boat dates’ on the Whau river, run a conversation group for Share/Cheat/Unite at Te Tuhi, written stories on riding the Western train line and building a boat for Pantograph Punch, and created a transmedia exploration of the history of the National Climate Laboratory in Palmerston North.
Mustaq Missouri arrived in Aotearoa in March 2014 and, in that year, was part of a reading of Ahi Karunaharan’s TEA, conducted under the guidance of Auckland Theatre Company. He has continued to work with Karunaharan since then. In 2019 he performed in the Auckland Theatre Company production of A Fine Balance and the Silo Theatre presentation of My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak. He is a regular performer in Summer Shakespeare productions and the lead actor in the recently released short film Maqsood written and directed by Utsav Patel.