Triumph Column / Tilted Arc (Missing)


Overlapping digital prints on blue backed paper

84cm x 59cm each

The poster text reads as follows:


“The photographic print on the right was taken in the early summer of 2008 in New York City.


Myself and another artist wanted to collaborate on a project together. At the time we were both really interested in Richard Serra’s ‘Tilted Arc’ sculpture made in the early eighties. The sculpture was installed in the federal plaza in New York, funded through the Arts-in-Architecture programme. The sculpture caused immediate controversy, many local government workers felt it dangerous, obstructive and encouraged vandalism. At the time some even speculated that the arc could have been used as a blast wall for terrorist activities. Local authorities were keen for the arc to be removed from the plaza. A public panel consisting of artists and critics on one side, and government officials on the other, put forward their respective positions to a jury. Despite more testimonies in support of the sculpture, the jury voted for the ‘Tilted Arc’ to be removed from its location. In the spring of 1989 the arc was dismantled by government workers and later used for scrap. At the time Richard Serra remarked: ‘Art is not democratic, it is not for the people’. Once removed, Serra no longer regarded it as his artwork.


My friend and I decided to fly to New York, taking with us various archived photographs, with the intention of re-photographing documentation of where the ‘Tilted Arc’ stood. We spent twenty minutes carefully photographing outside of the federal building in downtown New York. After some time, six New York police officers emerged from the entrance of the federal building and began encircling us. They wanted to know what we were doing taking pictures of a government building. We explained to the men that we were artists from London and were taking the pictures as part of a collaborative art project. The officers demanded to see all the photographs we had taken during our visit to the city, so we scrolled through images on both our cameras. The officers still remained unconvinced by the legitimacy of our claim, and wanted us to show the original documentation we were working from. This took several minutes whilst an officer made a judgement as to whether or not the new photographs satisfactorily replicated the originals. Once satisfied the officers’ let us go and wished us a safe trip.


The adjacent image was taken by me in Berlin in 2008 after the collaboration had ended.”


Goings-on, The Task, Melbourne. Winter 2014

Everything Must Go Flat, Das Esszimmer Bonn. Summer 2012

And Then Again, Museu de Cidade, Lisbon. Summer 2010