Liz Magor, talking about the work Violator
Wool, paint, cellophane
61.5 × 411 × 2 cm
Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
This long blanket on the wall is called Violator. I made it last year after I had made a dozen vertical blankets. This is a long horizontal blanket. It was from a loom. Blankets were made in big doubles like this and then usually cut into a length of about six feet. This one wasn’t cut, so it’s a long one. So I like the form of it, but more my choice was based on how fragile it was. It’s rotten. I had asked all my friends to look for a very bad-condition blanket. One of the reasons I wanted a bad-condition blanket is that they don’t exist, because who would keep it? It’s garbage really. So I knew that if there was a blanket full of holes out there and completely rotten, it would be kept for some reason that was extra-ordinary. I like the process being extra-ordinary, not the thing. So I found this rotten blanket. When I even touched it, it would tear. And some of the holes weren’t as big until I got it and I was trying to work with it and it just was tearing and losing itself. So I stabilized it by painting the back of it with silver paint and gold paint. So I painted the stripes. That’s kind of like a glue on the back and it seals it all and it stopped tearing. Then I folded it over. And then I did with it what I’ve done with the other blankets, which is… kind of entertain and enjoy the deficits. So the damage, I focused on it, and noticed it and paid attention to it. And then I thought, since it’s recovering, it might even be an exchangeable thing. It might, it can, go back into commerce even. These are just conceits, these are just fantasies. So I began to package it. And I put labels on it that are similar to the big sale sign labels that you might get. There are three little signs that have kind of explosion looks and in the display industry they are called violators. Violators are supposed to excite you when you’re shopping. I guess they violate your peace or something. So that’s why it’s called Violator because of those signs or those images of signs. So in a way, it’s got retail memory, but maybe no retail activity really going on. It’s in its imagination it’s retail item.