Aid: Homage to Joseph Beuys 1969-2009
Felt-lined wooden cabinet 26 x 18 x x 8 cm containing 47 bottles
of various sizes filled with water collected in Ireland, Mexico,
Morocco, France, etc; organic felt bandage strips
met Joseph Beuys only once, when Sandy Nairn introduced me to
him at the ICA in 1974. Everyone knows about his work or rather
his attitude towards art, life, and everything else. The little
bottles of water in my piece refer to the way he made symbolic
use of matter-of-fact materials, sacramentalizing everyday activities
and storing up energy in ordinary objects.
I collect water from a holy well or sacred
spring, I'm in the process of trying to turn banal tourism into
a quest or pilgrimage. The waters supposedly produce powerful
effects for believers, but what I treasure is the special mental
space created by searching for them and thinking about them.
These little bottles of waters are more than just souvenirs;
they are containers of an idea about the potentials hidden in
ordinary things and experiences.