Neil Boorman will burn all his branded possessions in a London warehouse on the 26th of August. Here's what he has to say about it:
On 26.08.06, I am going to gather every branded possession of mine into a warehouse, douse them with petrol and burn the lot. Jacobson chairs, Christian Dior shirts, a Louis Vuitton bag; I'm too frightened to calculate the financial cost of this action, but I know it's a lot. Far more unsettling than the money is the emotional cost I'm going to suffer. You see, It's not simply a pile of expensive clothes and accessories going on the bonfire, Neil Boorman is being destroyed too.
Until recently, I thought I knew who Neil Boorman was. I felt sure how the outside world regarded me because I had spent a fair amount of time engineering an image. I found the best way to understand and articulate 'me' was through the owning and displaying of things made by brands. They provided a source of comfort, a reassurance of my own self worth, they project my identity to others around me.
Frustratingly, this attempt at branded self-identity has been accompanied with a numbed sense of dissatisfaction. Attempting to cure myself, I have sought comfort and reassurance by buying yet more branded goods, treating myself 'because I'm worth it'. I now understand that this behavior only made matters worse. For all the time and money I have devoted to collecting these brands, these symbols of self, I have absolutely no idea who I am. For every new material extension of my character, I become more distant from the person than I really am.
The reality however is only just becoming clear; with every new emblem of identity I add to my collection, I lose a piece of myself to the brands. They cannot reciprocate the love I give. They cannot transport me to the places I'm promised exist. I am not, nor will I ever be remotely similar to the people that appear in their ads. It is a lie, a lie I have believed in for too long.
I had a similar kind of feeling after reading this as I did when I watched Xmen 3. In the case of Xmen 3 I was thinking "why didn't Wolverine stab Storm with some of the same stuff he stabbed Magneto with?" whereas in the case of Neil Boorman's Brand Bonfire I wonder why he doesn't find a new home for each of his branded items with someone who really needs them rather than burning them in a London warehouse - which surely isn't good for the environment for one thing?
I'm a sucker for a repost these days... Here's the last bunch of photographs that seemed to be worth posting from my phone. This was back in January. Maybe I need a new camera, because I haven't taken any pictures for months, and the ones I have taken look like crappy cameraphone pics...
The American War White Columns Gallery 320 West 13th Street (entrance on Horatio St.)
May 05–June 10
Harrel Fletcher was profoundly affected by visiting the War Remnants Museum in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), as I was when I was there last year. It was incredible to see the war - which in Vietnam is called the American War - through Vietnamese eyes. Harrell went back and photographed the entire exhibition along with all the labels and created a bootleg version which has toured around the United States. Kind of like how the Vietnamese have created bootleg versions of books, by photocopying and binding tomes by Robert McNamara et al which you can buy outside the War Remnants Museum from landmine victims.
"In June 2005 I was in Vietnam for a month as part of an international artists retreat. While I was there I visited The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, which is a memorial museum for what is referred to in Vietnam as 'The American War'. I was so affected by what I saw at the museum that I went back several times and eventually photographed all of the images and text descriptions from the main museum - over two hundred photos. I used my digital camera and took the shots hand held at off angles to avoid reflections, so the images have an oddly casual quality but are still accurate representations of the material depicted at the museum, with a similarly horrifying quality. Even though many of the images were familiar to me, seeing them all together and presented from the Vietnamese perspective was very striking. It made me realize that I didn't know much about the details of the war that had consumed the U.S for most of my early childhood. I started researching the history of the war in an attempt to understand why it happened and what its effects were on the region and in regards to U.S policy. The museum and my re-presentations of it are only showing one perspective, there are many others. I encourage everyone to do their own research and find out more about The American War in Vietnam and all of the other American Wars that have been happening ever since,
sometimes covertly and other times, as in the current situation in Iraq, outrageously overtly, but hidden at the same time."
'I Like Things'
Fondazione Nicola Trussardi
Palazzo dell'Arengario, Piazza del Duomo, Milano 16 May - 18 June, 10.00 - 20.00
Martin Creed is also exhibiting at The Wrong Gallery at the Tate Modern at the moment. The somewhat arresting image above is the industrially-named Work No. 509 (2006, C-type print 1 m x 0.75 m). It totally blows chunks. It's also a DVD loop in the Milan exhibition from what I can gather.
Linkto Martin's website Link to
Fondazione Nicola Trussardi website with images from the exhibition in Milan.
If you like Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, and Max Ernst, then we'll probably get along just fine. You probably like Joseph Cornell, too. Even if you don't like anything at all, you really must read this extract from A Convergence of Birds, edited and introduced by Jonathan Safran Foer, the brilliant young writer of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - one of the best books I've read for ages. You can read the first chapter of it here.