Tyranny of the Object

As a result of doing the Guide I was given a private commission to make a sculpture in the garden of a home somewhere in north Leitrim. They also wanted it to somehow change the reality of the people who lived there as the Guide, amongst other things, tries to do. I asked to stay for a weekend to get to know them and also to see what materials might already be there for me to use and think about the commission further. They agreed to this and while there I found that the previous owner of the property had left a lot of belongings behind, most of which were still stored in sheds and from looking at them it was obvious they been something of a hoarder. It was something I and the new owner could relate to very well and it sparked a conversation between us about the tyranny of the object and how these things from our past keep us from being in the moment. Some of these objects I found were in the form of a neatly stacked but useless pile of slates from an earlier roof with even the original chimney pots close by. Like every good hoarder knows keeping certain things from the past can be important and often in the most intangible ways can turn out to be useful, but more often are not. I thought that the sculpture could be functional as well and decided to embrace both the impulse to keep this material by making a kind of firehouse from it in which we could also embrace the impulse to let go of these types of objects. We did one burn before I left, of wood and some of the material in the sheds, which is where I took the documentation seen here. They say they will continue this practice whenever practical and necessary to keep them focused on the now and that it will stand for them as a symbol of this concept. (Stephen Rennicks)

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