Liz Magor, talking about the work All the Names I
Silicone, cotton textiles, paper
27 × 43 × 33 cm
Private collection, Toronto
This work, on the shelf at the end here, that looks like a rubber box, is a recent work. It’s maybe a couple of years old. I say it looks like a rubber box and I almost want to say it IS a rubber box. But you can’t open this box. By definition a box is a thing with an inside. I think you have access usually to the inside of a box… Anyhow, in this case I made a mould of a banker’s box. The kind where you store all your old receipts and income tax returns and so on. And I think of banker’s boxes as deep storage, not ready to the hand. So it’s an interesting form. The banker’s box is kind of strong, it holds heavy stuff, it’s an interesting form, it’s a very familiar image. If you’ve lived more than twenty years, you’ve probably got a banker’s box with something in it. In this case the cast, which is in rubber, has no opening. The lid can’t come off and I filled it from the bottom. And I filled it with undescribable material. I don’t mean it’s indescribable, I mean I’m not naming that material. So it’s obscure. You look through the cloudy rubber and you see stuff. I’ve done about five boxes and all the stuff is different. In this case it looks like fabric, or clothing, it looks kind of attractive; there are nice colours, there’s sparkly stuff, but we’ll never really know what’s the importance or significance of the stuff in the box. I will say it’s not my stuff and it’s not important to me. I’m interested in how it becomes important when it finds its form, and that form talks about holding for a long time. So anything that is being held for a long time must have some importance to somebody.