Wednesday, 27 February 2013


I found myself at the British Library this week, loving and hating the opportunity I had to track down virtually any book that’s been printed. I went there hoping that I could find some answers to my text problem. A problem – I haven’t really got to the bottom of really. Sometimes the idea gets a bit too big, too much to handle and although one wants to have layers of meaning and connotations. The timing of all these layers is critical to the momentum of the thing, making nods to all the things your artwork could be, can leave you with a mess on your hands. So initially the project was a very simple idea of making an equivalent to the relic. Then the process of making the thing itself started to take on a sort of ritual. At the same time I thought the object aptly stood in for Maurice in terms of the ‘suffering’ endured. 

Then there’s the question of faith…

Some one asked me recently if I would invoke him, try and call on him for assistance. I can’t say that I even thought about it.  I don’t believe in deities in that way, and as it’s becoming more and more doubtful that he ever existed, I think the interest is more about him as a cultural figure, which fuelled imaginations of many artists. So this book in the British Library was dedicated to cataloguing surviving black Maurice’s. The ‘Golden legend’, which has several versions, is but a small portion of the text. Apart from being a catalogue of 300 objects, it also contextualizes how these objects came about – invevitably linked to the political wrangling’s of the time. Interestingly most of the examples came from Germany, which at around 1500 was pretty much most of the Holy Roman Empire.

Its like the project is going in two directions… In one way a book project could be an extension of that catalogue dealing with Maurice as an object rather then a person or metaphysical figure.  On the other it’s an interpretation of the Hagiography. I haven’t made up my mind yet and I don’t seem in a hurry to do so just yet…

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