Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Unghie dell'artista

Some people have asked to see the sculpture I made for the "SpOor" exhibition.  Here it is: a reliquary holding a salt shaker containing my fingernails.  The gallery provided this definition of "spoor" in their call for entries: 
noun \’spur, ‘spor\ plural spoor or spoorsDefinition of SPOOR

1 : a track, a trail, a scent, or droppings especially of a wild animal

2 : a trace by which the progress of someone or something may be followed

I immediately thought of a piece I'd done years before.  A salt shaker filled with fingernails.  Maybe 20 years ago.  I'd created it back then as an absurd object, a Dada sculpture.  But now it seemed a strong representation of what it means to be an artist, to share parts of yourself with others.   To leave a trace of yourself out in the world.  Spoor of the artist.  It also brought to mind Piero Manzoni's famous canning of his own poop, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist's_shit) "Merda d'artista" and so, in respect and reference to that iconic work, I entitled my sculpture: "Unghie dell'artista".  Fingernails of the artist.