Cat Trap, 2016, W19cm x H40cm, trap made of spring steel and plywood, stamped with acrylic. Multiple.
Yes, it works, but please don’t use it! The joy of a simple functional piece of art, suggesting an entire perverted universe just around the next corner. The aesthetic I wanted was exactly that of the real mouse trap I scavenged the original (small) spring parts from; simple and mass-manufactured, but still practical and reliable.
More copies from the open edition (not the collector’s edition) can be ordered upon request.
detail, Mother’s Little Helpers.
Mother’s Little Helpers, 2016, H125cm x W90cm x D15cm, plywood, wood and steel, edition of 3.
When your little lovely ones have finished helping you sweep the floor, bake that cake and have done their homework, maybe they can help you chase the intruders on the door. Every man, woman and child should be able to defend themselves nowadays, and who says not only your kids will be home when the next invasion starts? A set of home inspired medieval pole arms for your offspring.
Battle Stool, in use.
Battle Stool, 2016, W34cm x D34cm x H41cm, wood, steel cup and axes, edition of 3.
A multi-use piece of furniture. A nice and practical stool for your kitchen or for next to your open fire place. At the same time, it can be quickly turned into effective weapons of defence. Just pull the springs and start throwing those axes. No more being afraid of kicking out rowdy guests from your parties. Battle Stool is part of a series of weapons derived from the domestic furniture and functions of our homes, conceived of for a paranoid era.
Cut, Chop and Slice, detail.
Cut, Chop and Slice, 2016, W39cm x H150cm x D15cm, wood and knives, edition of 3.
Part of a series of domesticated weapons – or if you prefer, artworks you can use to kill. Inspired by the blunt objects in our own homes as well as medieval weapon stands with axes, spears and pole arms. The functionality is crucial to these pieces, but also the natural beauty of form and function that is not just for pretence. Cut, Chop and Slice takes its cue from our beloved kitchen knives; the place we all know we will go running should an intruder come climbing through the window.
Fear Your Neighbours, 2011, W150cm x H30cm x D15cm, spear in wooden box with glass front. The caption on the glass reads “In case of Societal Collapse, Break Glass, Grab Spear, Kill and Eat Neighbours before they Do the Same to You.”
I never bought into the enlightenment idea that Man is fundamentally good, and that if we could only get everyone a nice, sheltered upbringing, a decent education and a secure job with pension plan and health insurance, there would immediately be peace on earth. This is not a specific criticism against liberal modernity, however. Looking back at earlier times we find just as blatant a gap between ideals and reality. This gap has always fascinated me, as has the fronts we hold up to convince both ourselves and those around us that we and them are really all alright. Is there anything more frightening in the world than a stranger, if the police wasn’t there to keep an eye on both of us?
Bad Box, 2003, H46cm x W23cm x D14cm, painted steel box and electrical circuitry.
Rules and regulations are funny in that at the same time as they tell you what you shouldn’t do, they also suggest that someone might want to do just this, i.e. that it might be something desirable to do. There are no signs warning us from walking backwards on the bicycle path, or trying to climb the lamppost, or eating ice cream in the pool. There are signs however, telling us not to skateboard in the staircase, not to drink alcohol in the train station and not to make a fire on the beach. Sometimes rules can get very specific, almost like instruction manuals. Sometimes you are not sure for who’s sake the rules are there.
Emotional Hammers, Set of Three, 2015, W31cm x H63cm x D11cm, leather on plywood shield, walnut holders, cast lead hammer heads on ashen handles.
If a sculpture could possibly be used, not just looked at, this adds an additional dimension to play with, to consider. Functionality doesn’t have to be activated to make a difference, it is enough that it is obviously possible. Such an artwork can almost become a kind of modern totem, a quasi-religious fetish for ritualistic purposes, in the way that the royal sceptre has evolved from the club of a warrior. What is then done with it is not so important, we humans are terrifyingly good at imagining things.
Bad Conscience, 2005, L5m x W2,5m x H3m, tarred canvas on wood and chicken wire.
For my degree show at Goldsmith’s College, I built a life-size elephant of sticks and wire and dressed it in tarred canvas, and put it on the roof of one of the exhibition venues. It was standing there looking down on the people passing by. Sometimes we talk of the elephant in the room, but I think most of us don’t even let it in, so the elephants that should be discernible in our rooms, are left outside to roam around on the rooftops, looking down on us, hoping to be spotted before it is all too late.