Lost property: an art project

Sometimes, when I’m not boring Tom to tears thinking up improvements for public transport I like to develop ideas for art projects. I went to art school and did plenty of exhibitions, performances and installations but now I’m lazy so if you want to do this idea, go ahead.

I’ve been meaning to write it up for ages and was finally spurred on by Courtney writing up her idea for a performance piece/installation.

Lost property
After receiving a hefty funding grant from Creative New Zealand, two artists travel New Zealand. For neatness sake lets say they travel (by car) from Northland to Southland. Along the way they encounter clothing on the roadside – clothing on the roadside is EVERYWHERE in this country and if you haven’t noticed it before you will now I’ve mentioned it.

At each place they stop, photograph and document the clothing. The photograph is a high-colour square photo in situ that is assigned a number. That number corresponds to a sheet recording location, time, date, item. The item is then bagged and then put in the car*.

This continues around New Zealand – it will be laborious, which is why two people are required: one to drive, one to spot clothes. Shoes are allowed – especially single shoes. Shoes strug over power poles are exempt from being collected.

Once the journey is complete the artists return home to wash all the clothes and set up the exhibition.

The exhibition is a room(s) filled with the enlarged photos of the items. Underneath each photo is a plinth where the clean item is folded/displayed and on the front of the plinth is a clipboard with the sheet recording where it was found.

People can take the lost property from the exhibition but only if they can prove it is theres. They can do that by leaving a photo on the plinth of them wearing the item of clothing they took.

*On reflection keeping the clothes in the car would probably stink – a trailer might be better.


6 Responses to Lost property: an art project

  1. Lynn Taylor says:

    yeah – that sounds like a great road trip.Actually the other day I donated a jersey to the cause – its out there somewhere on the Peninsula. I have been looking at the ground recently for bits and pieces – my interest was sparked by Cas Holmes book ‘the found object in textile art’ where she collected silk off the streets in India and then wrapped it up into little bundles. This was accompanied by a quote about how there is enough in the gutters to make a rat weep or something like that. I did cynically notice though that Cas’s bundles looked like such scrumptious silk, not bits that had been trodden on along a dirty street.

  2. Emma Rose says:

    I visited NZ in Jan 2004 on a whistle stop tour and somewhere near Christchurch, we passed a Bra Fence and a Knicker Fence which was just two different barbed-wire fences with said clothing hung on them, which people were adding to I think, and they looked pretty weather-worn. I did take photos. A very happy holiday and when I win the lottery, I shall come back to your lovely country.

    • tomandemma says:

      The bra fence is down near Wanaka and somewhere too I have a tourist-style photo of myself beside it but was too poor to donate my bra. I’ve never heard of the knicker fence though (slightly more scary) so will have to look that one up.

  3. Emma Rose says:

    Now you mention the name Wanaka, that does ring a bell. I have just dug out my photo of the knicker fence and it has snowy mountains in the background and looks like it comes in the sequence of ones taken near Te Anau, on the way to Milford Sound.

  4. Emma Rose says:

    Sorry, I will shut up about this after this last comment…I have now found the notes I made on my holiday and I wrote that the bra fence was near Wanaka and the knicker fence was near Makarora. So there you go.

    • tomandemma says:

      Oh excellent – thanks. Yay for trip notes I’ll have to Google to see where that is the visit it one day. It’s reminded me that there’s also a shoe/boot fence somewhere.

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