Encyclopaedic Something

Contributing text as part of an encyclopedic collection for West Space Journal at Volume: Another Art Book Fair


September 11 – 13, 2015

Artspace, Sydney

This initial collection of texts contributed to shaping the then upcoming issue of West Space Journal, and are an accumulation of object/text pairs which will be eventually composted, via the journal site, into an ‘encyclopaedic something’ that can be explored and read in many ways.


View collection here



A Newspaper

I was recently made aware that the Freudian slip doesn't necessarily refer exclusively to language. A fact that I'm sure is universally known, it can also take the form of action: boy trips in museum and punches hole through million-dollar painting. [1]


I was also told, in a conversation of a very different nature, that everything happens for a reason and not by chance: man jailed punching HOLE in £8million Monet painting despite claiming heart attack made him fall. [2]  


It could be hypothesized, then, that the hypothetical coincidence of the American tourist—who apprehended the security guard with a question regarding the location of the toilet at the very same time that the boy (who was said to be carrying a milkshake) walked toward the entrance of the gallery—was in fact meant to happen.  That perhaps the dissatisfaction said guard was feeling in his job (a cocktail of low pay, mind numbing labour, the persistent question 'but what does it all mean?' and a newly discovered aversion to decadence) was also something undeniably unstoppable in the trajectory of the grand scheme of things. Which could also mean that such dissatisfaction was a precursor for the boy and his milkshake slipping Freudianly through the cracks of the security guard's reign, and wandering toward the $1.5 million dollar vase of flowers where, for a moment, he paused for a sip before loosing balance and tripping over the balustrade—which was meant to be there—and fist first into the painting.  


And what then could be said of The Man from Snowy Ireland, who had an attack of the heart in front of a Monet? Or of the Priceless Picasso left dangling from wall after bump by patron? [3] A disruption in the zen alignment of the social fabric so visible it is unbearable to see. 'Who can resist straightening a crooked painting?' I wonder, and what bigger metaphor of the times is there than standing in front of an image exclaiming ‘it’s not straight! It needs to be straight!’ 


The main rigour of art is its value, the newspaper seems to always tell us. ‘Only a small class of people are interested in its access’, thought the boy as he got too close.

[1] Holmes, O 2015, ‘Boy trips in museum and punches hole through million-dollar painting’, The Guardian, August 25, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/25/boy-trips-in-museum-and-punches-hole-through-million-dollar-painting

[2] Bloom, D 2014, ‘Man jailed punching HOLE in £8million Monet painting despite claiming heart attack made him fall’, The Daily Mail, December 8, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2865984/Man-jailed-punching-HOLE-8million-Monet-painting-despite-claiming-fist-fell-heart-condition.html

[3] Coleman, O 2014, ‘Priceless Picasso left dangling from wall after bump by patron’, New York Daily News, July 31. 2014, http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/picasso-art-crooked-unintentionally-moma-article-1.1887723