The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1 - The Moab Story | 2003
An epic tale, covering more than sixty years, from 1928 when the existence of Uranium was first considered, to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the end of the Cold War in 1989. Tulse Luper, a writer and a project-maker, is caught up in a life of prisons. There are a total of sixteen prisons in the story starting in South Wales, when Luper is ten years old, locked up for three hours by his father in a coalhouse for running the gauntlet of a series of backyard gardens to sign his name on a crumbling brick wall that collapses. Twelve years later in 1938 in Moab, Utah, Luper is arrested through his contact with an American-German family about to travel to Europe to engage exploitatively in the Second World War. Four members of this family, deeply fascinated with Luper, will act as his jailers, with others interested in uranium, around Europe for the next ten years. In the Cold War, years he is imprisoned in Moscow and Siberia, before appearing in Hong Kong and Kyoto. In the 1980s Luper was apparently sighted in Beijing and in Shanghai. He was last seen in a Manchurian desert. Luper learns to use his prison time, writing on the prisons walls, inventing projects in literature, theatre, film and painting, and engaging with his jailers in all manner of plots, schemes and adventures. Because of their responsibilities, jailers are as much prisoners of their prisoners as they are freemen, and this connection of jailer and prisoner permeates this project and provides a great deal of its drama. As Luper's reputation as a writer and project-maker grows in Europe and America, so his person becomes more fictional. A large 'Luper' Symposium and Exhibition is held in the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Many Luper lecturers offer their theories and propositions on the various stages of Luper's life. The central exhibit of the conference and exhibition is a collection of 92 suitcases - 92 appropriately being the atomic number of Uranium - suitcases that Luper had supposedly been associated with in his travels and prisons. Over the years, the suitcases come to light all over the world.