By Gil Dekel.
As part of my PhD research in 2006 I have developed a character The ‘Prince of Hampshire’. The character personified elements of quantum physics, inspiration, and creativity, and allowed me to share ideas about the power of words, through performance and humour.
The Prince character explains that past kingdoms are largely remembered for their great achievements and conquests. However, without the use of words (mainly in form of written text) the great achievements may well be forgotten over time. It is through the written text and stories that great kingdoms of the past are largely commemorated and remembered today.
This concept illustrates the importance of words in our society. The power of words is presented in the ‘Prince of Hampshire’ performance and video. The Prince explains how he became to be a prince, and the power of inner control that symbolises both princess and artists.
Prince is someone who is taught to have control of their inner self, thus they become authors of their creativity. Likewise, artists and poets are author of their inner self.
The treasury in the kingdom of the Prince is people’s inner personalities…
The ‘Prince of Hampshire’ performance took place at Portsmouth University, symbolising my arrival at Hampshire. This project was connected with previous exhibition called ‘The Arrival’. As the Prince I was wearing blue shirt – representing the sky, and red gown – representing the earth. These colours were connected to a previous project for the PhD, the film ‘QuantumWords’.
The main message is: science of no art is void of meaning, and may reach a point where it destroys itself – as the mythical city of Atlantis is said to have efficient technology but void of meanings, resulting in self destruction.
I have also designed a logo (coat of arms), invitations, promotional posters and have attempted to create a coin where the monetary currency is ‘a word’.
The story of the performance as seen in the video:
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Prince of Hampshire!
We are absolutely delighted to invite the noble Prince of Hampshire to present at our school.
The Prince of Hampshire:
I had a dream; and in that dream there was a huge crowd around me, and this crowd was shouting, “The prince of Hampshire! The prince of Hampshire!” I was looking around me and I said, “Me? The prince of Hampshire?” And the crowd said, “Yes, the prince of Hampshire. We are waiting for your light!”
So I woke up the next day and said, “Hey, actually why not?… I could be the prince of Hampshire” So I went to the store at the end of the road and I got myself this crown for 35 pence, and I made this gown; and behold – the prince of Hampshire!
Now, at first when I was introduced as the Prince of Hampshire I was thrilled but then I was quite unhappy, because apart of my duties as the Prince of Hampshire I’m also a full-time international PhD student at the University of Portsmouth, at this department. And I was wondering, what’s the connection between my duties as the Prince of Hampshire and my duties as a PhD student?
My PhD research project is about the power of words. I’m exploring in my PhD the process of poetry-making; how inspiration flows into the poet and is translated into words. So I was quite unhappy; for I didn’t know what’s the connection between words on one hand and kingdom on the other hand.
‘Prince of Hampshire’ logo design.
So I went back to my dream – the first dream that proclaimed me as the Prince of Hampshire, to ask for advice. And the huge crowd was summoned around me again, and I asked them, “My good people, what’s the connection between kingdom on one hand, and words in my research about poetry, on the other hand?”
An old wise man came out of the crowd and said, “My child… How do kingdoms are remembered; can you tell me?” I said, “Well, past kingdoms, how are they remembered today?… Is it thanks to their great conquests, the great achievements, that past kingdoms are remembered today?”
And the old wise man said, “No, my child. It is thanks to the written words that commemorate past kingdoms that you can read about those kingdoms today and you can know them. It is thanks to the written text that you read today in your historical books that you can know and remember the past kingdoms. Without the written word, you would not remember the great achievements of Napoleon, no matter how much he was successful. It’s not the great conquests. it’s in great writing by which kingdoms commemorate themselves.”
This is why the Egyptian carved the words in stone.
‘Prince of Hampshire’ coin Production.
So you see, kingdoms are remembered through the power of words; “And your PhD” – so told me the great wise man – “Is about the power of words.”
Would we know much at all about Socrates without the well-written work of his student, Plato?
Would we know much of Einstein’s work if he had not written it?
How do we know about the theories of Quantum Physics?
It is largely thanks to the written word that the past is passed on to us.
So, Kingdoms > Words > a PhD on poetry.
So I thought to myself, why prince? Why is it prince that I am introduced as? And the great wise man came back and said, “My child… What is princehood? Princehood is about having control over your inner self. And once you are in control of your inner self, as a prince, you are then in charge of your own creativity. And that is how poetry operates. The poet is being able to have control over their inner self.”
And I was very, very pleased with this idea…
‘Prince of Hampshire’ invitation design.
The Prince of Hampshire chatting with the crowd:
Prince: Hello, sir… Did you ever know that there is a prince to Hampshire?
Crowd: No, I just found out for the first time.
Prince: What did you feel when you first saw the prince of Hampshire?
Crowd: I’m a republican. Anger, rage. I want to overthrow you…
Prince: Did you know there is a prince to Hampshire?
Crowd: Oh, I know now.
Prince: And how would like to see the prince work more with the local community?
Crowd: Love it…
Prince: You would love it. That is very kind of you.
The Prince of Hampshire answers questions:
Prince: Any questions from my people to the Prince of Hampshire?
Crowd: How old are you?
Prince: The Prince of Hampshire has no age. He has no age because he lives in a parallel reality. My kingdom lives in a parallel reality; it’s not far from here. And you are all… invited. All invited.
However, to arrive at the parallel reality of my kingdom, you cannot take a bus ride nor can you take the train, because my kingdom which is in a parallel reality has no space and no time.
It was Albert Einstein and quantum physics theories that argued that space and time are the construction of the human mind. Therefore, if you’d like to visit me in my kingdom you have to take a shift of mind ride. Turn your attention and your eyes inside to your heart. Look inside from your eyes at your heart and then you’ll flop into the parallel reality, where space and time do not exist.
Once you reach the parallel reality just ask someone; they’ll show you the way to my castle.
So the prince has no age because there is no time and there is no space.
‘Prince of Hampshire’ promo photo.
Crowd: Will you be a tyrant?
Prince: Oh, that’s a great question. I have to say that in our reality we don’t rule over people. The purpose of my kingdom, the purpose of me being a prince, is to have and guard over a special treasury. The treasure that we possess in my kingdom is the treasure of the inner self of human beings.
Crowd: Is everyone’s equal in your kingdom?
Prince: Yes, everyone is equal in our country, in our parallel self country. People have different shapes and different forms but they are equal.
Crowd: Are you vegetarian?
Prince: Thank you; the prince is vegetarian. In our reality, the way we approach food is like so: we come to food and we ask the food its permission to eat it. In our reality there is a consciousness to every single atom, which is what quantum physics in your reality proves. Therefore we ask food to be consumed and we are always given the permission.
Crowd: When can I come to visit?
Prince: You can come today if you send me an email. I’ll show you the way. Thank you very much, all…
The Prince of Hampshire tours the department:
Nice to meet you too, Prince.
The prince of Hampshire? How marvellous…
Lovely to meet you.
You’re the prince of Hampshire!
What did you feel when you first saw the prince?
I wondered what the hell was going on, to be honest…
© Gil and Natalie Dekel. 2 Jan 2019.
The film was made in 2006. Length: 9:35 minutes.
Credits: Directors, producers, camera, editing, story, music, cast – Gil and Natalie Dekel.