Loss, decomposition, and the hazards of the postal service

Self [other] 10 (detail)

Earlier in the month I mentioned three outcomes for the work that I sent to the lovely people at Brooklyn Artists Gym (See August 2nd post: ‘New York, New York’). Either the work would arrive on time, or be damaged, or be absolutely fine and can be shown as part of the Intimate: Small Works show.

Well the show opened on Saturday and of course my work didn’t arrive on time. Naturally I’m disappointed but as a realist it was not unexpected. It’s not that I’m a pessimist, it’s simply that if there is sunshine then you also have to expect showers.

Somewhere in the US postal system lurk two little pieces of artwork that should have easily arrived a week ago. They will be shown if they arrive before the exhibition ends (on August 24th). Naturally I’m considereing the possibility that my work will arrive after this, or never arrive at all.

Surprisingly, I’m not upset or stressed about this. A package I sent in the post has not arrived to a destination that I have only seen in books and movies. Had it arrived my ideas of New York be not be any more or any less real. I am sad that the people of New York have not had the chance to see my collages in an up close and personal way. But who are these people? I do not know them and I cannot picture them. Similiarly I cannot visualise the journey of my package to New York beyond that of the post office at the end of my street. Nor can I predict the package’s current location. These situations and locations are simply not tangible things that I have the ability to visualise, influence, or change.

My memories of ‘Self [other] 10’ and ‘Self [other] 11’ are, and have always been, confined to my experiences of creating the original photograph on which they are based and also the subsequent collages. This is regardless of where they are now exist geographically.Yes they are lost but as physical items they were always destined to be lost at some point in the future; whether this be to the US postal service, or in some accident, or discarded after my death.

They are simple, delicate, little fragments of paper with the ability to decompose. Upon creation they were no more than a flawed memory of an event. Now it appears they may be less than that…


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