I DISMISS ALL KNOWLEDGE AND CULTURE….I THINK ONLY OF THE THREE DEAD LAMBS (2009)
"I dismiss all knowledge and culture … I think only of the three dead lambs" is a pair of long black leather gloves; the top of the gloves is decorated with nail clippings, while the underside features additional fingers. The gloves were made for the Biennale for Craft and Design 2009, which had “Sustainability” as its overarching theme. The title, “I dismiss all knowledge and culture … I think only of the three dead lambs”, is a rephrasing of an image caption in Roland Barthes’ “Camera Lucida”.
Nails are a material that everyone has an intimate relationship with. The thought of 1,400 clipped-off nails seems overwhelming, as it is intuitively clear that this represents a very long “production” period. The sense of materials and production that the nails represent has largely disappeared in our part of the world in relation to the things we surround ourselves with – in all likelihood, few will pause to consider where the leather for the gloves came from. We are familiar with leather as a material and the context it enters into, and thus we do not reflect on the fact that it is actually someone’s skin.
The additional fingers on the gloves suggest that the intended wearer of the gloves is not a standard human being with five fingers on each hand but rather a sort of “farm animal”, created with the purpose of maximising nail production. The many fingers on the gloves reflect the manipulations we subject animals and plants to in order to satisfy our own needs for anything from food to unnecessary luxury items.
With the gloves I wish to spark debate on modern man’s perception of nature: Once, nature was sacred; that is no longer the case. On the contrary, most people in the Western world behave as if nature were a tool, as if nature were here for our sake. But do we have the right to command nature? Should we not view nature as something that has a justification in itself? Perhaps we even need to establish a set of rights for nature corresponding to the human rights.