Saturday, August 20, 2011


That egg again... am I not taking it seriously enough? On the broken/unbroken website I ponder efforts to address the artistic challenge the 'hope' egg poses which are solemn in mood, earnest in tone and... how shall I say it... rather grim.

We have a few eggs presumably reminding us of the fragility of human existence as they adorn ancient and quite beautiful gravestones...

...or positioned in serried ranks on the non-slip tiled floor of a mortuary in front of the refrigerated drawers which may or may not be empty.

Is it in reaction to the essential morbidity implicit in this manner of dealing with 'our egg' that I yearn for a bit of levity?

An egg walks into a bar singing and the bartender says,
“Why are you in such a good mood?”
and the egg says, “I just got laid.”

Oh, well... sorry!

Anyway I had a passing thought while watching tennis on television in my local café. At some point the score was superimposed... The intrepid French girl was in danger of losing her service and the score was 'love -30' against her. 'Love'? The origin of the sport's way of describing 'zero' or 'nul points' is disputed. It is possible that it derives from the French expression for 'the egg' (l'œuf) because an egg looks like the number zero.

Then thinking about sport took me back to reflections upon early childhood... and after all an egg symbolizes genesis... a beginning... perhaps even childlike innocence. And I recalled the annual school sports day and one of the perennial features of this grand event.

An egg-and-spoon race is a sporting event in which
participants must carry an egg on a teaspoon, tablespoon or wooden spoon
and race to the finish line without dropping the egg
or without running while the egg is not on the spoon.

Not only were wee nippers... and in Scotland such demanding athletic performances were required of us at kindergarten age... seen to dash the fifty yards hoping (yes, there was hope) that our fragile egg would not tumble to the ground, but our yummy mummies had a go, too.

Which brings me to the installation/performance which in the spirit of situationist interaction which seems to me an ideal proposal.

The broken/unbroken egg-and-spoon race!
Fifty starters lined up... young, old, all known genders... Fifty metres to run, fifty eggs, fifty spoons. A medal for the winner, and feasting on fluffy omelettes to follow. To ensure the maximum media resonance the egg-and-spoon race could be staged in parallel with the 'Roskilde Run' in Denmark... Or it could take place on the naturist beach at Cap d'Agde...

Think of a Vanessa Beecroft performance... but dynamic rather than mutely static, with smiles and laughter instead of vacant stares.

And fifty yards on there will have been eggs broken. And eggs unbroken. Fragility experienced live. Hope fulfilled. And hopes shattered.

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