Coco Crampton, Bower, 2016
Wood, mdf, glazed ceramic, copper, oil paint
189 x 70 x 45 cm
Installation view, Belmacz, Mayfair
She found in things collected — the bird — a way to cultivate space. No matter what is put together, a sense emerges all her own.
Things weighing grams
Under soft roofs —
let’s rehearse in the garden below your shelter.
In movement we will live
A place in the garden
Below the sky
Cancel the summer.
She, The Dawn, a bird, whispers creakingly into the ear of The Day.
Open your attention to twilight
Your ignorance does not fool me surrounded in light
No garden in the sun is without lies
No dwelling is a shelter unless it purports to sustain —
me, the transition between one thing and the next.
In flight I want you and not on Earth,
in lines drawn by memory,
in soft feathers and in the most beautiful colours.
The Day replies.
Perhaps you’re confused, as birds do not appear between —
always at night or in the day
Lines are not drawn by memory but by hard forgetting
Spaces are created marked-out by monochrome deviations
They represent contrast
The Day is bound to old ways
Twilight into all you need
What do you need?
You are a bird
You are lost.
The Day is its own house, soundly built, weighted down
All birds fly away when the light floods in —
when I come
You will die
Trapped between soil and the Empyrean
Combusting in song.
The bird responds, no longer she.
Folly and Behaviour
Mr. Bower made a hat from the curved and dried bale of hay in the field next to his house. After painting it and decorating it with metallic objects, he gave it to his wife. She was not impressed. A hat she wanted, but not one made by hand by a man who had little skill in this regard.
Mr. Bower’s wife had just had her hair cut and done. Died silver, it shone so brightly it could be seen as a second sun from the other side of the neighbour’s farm. So much so, the farmer crashed his tractor into a fence when blinded by it.
Until midnight Bower’s wife stayed outside in the cold, disappointed that when the sun went down her hair was no longer lit by it, nor in competition with it either. She paced the garden and shouted at her husband in such a way that her voice boomed off the external brick walls of their house and all around the garden.
“Where’s my hair praise?! Where’s my dinner? Why is there hay all over our driveway.”
Mr. Bower offered no reply, asleep in the spare bedroom.
The next morning the farmer called the John Deer repair man and watched on as he assessed the damage. “Neighbours”, he exclaimed, “why do we have them!”.
The mechanic took this rhetorical question to heart and replied “You’re a farmer and your neighbours are far away.”
“Yes”, the farmer responded, “my neighbours are as far away as a second sun but they nonetheless blind me and make me crash my tractor.”
My Private Chamber
Losing your hearing in a room
you are pleased by is not pleasant.
All one’s senses are required when,
in the middle of pleasure,
getting to the end of the experience
is the most important thing.
Some birds modify their surroundings
then less so
Swoop down, whoosh in the ears —
Some things are a catastrophe
turning one thing upside down to reveal the character of another.
These two poems and a short story were commissioned to sit alongside the exhibition Bowers — from form to public by Coco Crampton, held at Belmacz, Mayfair, Oct–Nov 2016. Thanks to the artist and Belmacz.