Joanie Turbek

Lift block slowly, please use caution

Lift block slowly, Please use caution

Porcelain, concrete, pulleys, rope

One day, quite unexpectedly, my boyfriend broke up with me because he loved someone else. That night I lay on a friends couch, trying hard to fall asleep. At about 3am I had a vision of a sculpture in which a concrete block was the counterbalance to a large cluster of heated potatoes. The sculpture was configured so that when you lifted the block, the potatoes hit you on the back of the head.

It wasn’t until I made the piece, which is titled Lift block slowly, Please use caution, that I realized how clearly it demonstrated how I felt. Because the 55lb block of concrete was acting as ballast to the potatoes, it was incredibly easy to lift. If the viewer did not heed the advice of the title, they would lift the block too quickly and get clobbered on the back of the head.

I braced myself for questions about my personal life that I was sure would follow. Strangely enough, no one guessed. With a little bit of perspective I can now see that even though I used my personal life as a guide to make his particular sensation, it is not personal work. This piece has as much to do with being dumped, as a tanning booth has to do with your last Florida vacation.

Categorised as: Work

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