Because We Had It All

Because We Had It All
2012
Collage on the wall
600 x 700cm
Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia

The work is a large scale wall collage of approx 600x 700 cm, produced for the THT exhibition in Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb in February 2012. The collage depicts a silhouette of scaffolding on which we see a group of workers engaged in a series of seemingly purposeful actions – such as kneeling, lifting, lowering down, passing on, etc. The object of their group activity is to erect a sign which reads ‘Because We Had It All’. The drawing occupies most of the wall, such that the figures appear life-size. The image of the group united as a manual workforce serves as a reminder of a different time, related to a different economy.

The sign -‘Because we had it all’-, which is seemingly in the process of being installed functions as a play on words.

Who might the word ‘We’ be referring to? Is the perception of who ‘We’ are in the contemporary moment quite different from a concept of ‘We’ that we prevalent in earlier times, and if so, in what way? Apart from questions related to collective identity, another question posed is ‘what is or was ‘All’’? and what does it now mean to ‘have it all’ in comparison with say twenty years ago. These questions are not posed in order to lament change, nor to mourn losses, but simply asks what it is that we are now in the process of constructing. Ultimately the drawing is itself a projection, one which speaks of forward-looking ‘projected’ ideas, both current and historical, of how our future ought to look and feel.

What the sign indicates is a change or perhaps it is a reminder of changes in political systems that saturate our everyday. The lines depicting the scaffolding in the drawing suggest architectural instability, or perhaps the instability of a system, therefore perhaps forecasting a further change upon the horizon.

My intention is in part to offer a record of what is very suddenly called ‘history’.