"Radical Matter" by Franklin and Till just arrived in the post and I just begun reading it.
The “Shit, Hair, Dust” chapter attracted me because of who I am what I do where I come from what I believe in what makes me breathe and do what I do in the way I do it...
I grew up with a bunch of extraordinary people one of whom instantly came to mind in a basic link to the word Shit.
Monsieur Caca, I named him an age ago when I was a kid, can’t remember his name besides Mister Shit but his partner was (that may help some of you locate the man in time and place and perhaps remind me of his true name) Mimi Parent, “provocative writer who kept alive the spirit of surrealism”
(Alyce Mahon for The Guardian 2005).
Mr Shit was a very scatological extrovert, humorous, eccentric creative warm chunk of a man, that’s how I saw him then anyhow with my very young eyes.
There is something that resonates deeply within me about the “Shit, Hair, Dust” chapter besides the crucial point of matter and sustainable future. When I begun sculpting it was a delight that the building where I studied/worked had just moved to new/old premises and skips got filled good and proper and emptied good and proper, by me. A cyclical approach to sculpture, conceptual and site-specific. Stuff that most considered shit was removed from its site, purpose removed too. I would work with that shit to celebrate its character and place in as many ways as I could to activate a sensory and active response to that kind of stuff. It’s about creating a humble rapport with the shit of the everyday the overlooked or ignored kind of stuff that we have 'adorned' with a non-provocative non-challenging kind of symbolism and lacks our due respect.
Waste, excremental shit of the natural or industrial kind is adaptable flexible meaningful purposeful and can certainly be handsome.
I still use and work with shit today I celebrate shit of various kind, natural or industrial, the obvious horse-shit recently came to me for use in surface design. In using it I did not transcend the realm of ‘Radical Matter’. I did not make anything with it that would change the world we go about abusing depleting and destroying.
Still perhaps I contribute in my tiny way to challenging our perceptive ways and lead to relative active process in the way we physically consider and interact with matters of matter.