The installation “Pieces of String too Small to Save” was installed in the lobby of the Brooklyn Museum from May 20, 1993 through September 5, 1993. The mountainous pile on the floor was the leftovers from collecting cultural flotsam and jetsam in New York City for over twenty years. The mass was loosely arranged with like objects near like objects. On the wall behind the pile certain objects were pulled out of the detritus and hung as icons (or special specimens). All these objects, packed up on sixty pallets, were all moved out of his studio in Brooklyn by three tracker trailers. The move of his collection was prompted by the birth of his first son and the need for a new home. When moving some ‘cleaning’ and subsequent discarding of un-needed objects happens, which leads to the title of this piece, “Pieces of String too Small to Save.” These were objects that he had no use for anymore; only most families on the move do not have an art museum to store their junk.
Lipski’s objects in this installation were much different than his previous objects that were characteristically combined and altered in a type of surrealist juxtaposition. In the combined sculpture a trumpet may be displayed with its bell down and a lit candle stuck in the mouthpiece. This type of sculpture and installation is maybe best typified in his piece called “Gathering Dust” where Lipski would combine whatever object he could find readily at hand whenever he was eating, commuting or any other time of relative rest. “Gathering Dust” exceeds over three hundred unique small sculptures.
On collecting his objects Lipski says, “I’m interested in things that are beautiful, but I couldn’t tell you what makes them beautiful.” His process of collecting is more personal and subjective than structured and regimented to a certain ‘type’ of object. Although some of the categorization of his objects shown in “Pieces of String too Small to Save” hints to what some of his favorite and most collected objects are.
I viewed the fossil (also Indian artifact, mineral, sea shell and carved bird statue) collection and museum that was organized/created by John and Lucy McLuckie, in Coal City, Illinois. My home town. I had visited this ‘museum’ in June McLuckie’s garage when I was in 5th grade. Coal City is an old mining town near Morris, Illinois. Stip mining was the most common type of mining there, and also where John McLuckie worked as a drag line operator. He started to notice these large roundish rocks that would tumble from his machine’s bucket. Some would break open, and he discovered that there was fossils inside. He started by carrying the fossils home in his lunch pail but he soon began to make specific trips to the ‘pits’ and spoil piles (or ‘dumps’) to collect fossils. No one in this part of the country was finding or collecting fossils at this time (1930′s and on). After a few years of collecting John and Lucy began to look for help in identifying some the the more elusive fossils. This led them to the Field Museum in Chicago. Work quickly spread and researchers, curators and professors were traveling from all over the world to see their collection. A few of the fern fossils that they found were donated to the Smithsonian were they are still on display. Other fossils are so rare that they still today get requests to study them. The amount and depth of information about this collection and John and Lucy’s life is too large to be fully explained here. The images here are only about half of what I had taken. June McLuckie is the current caretaker of this collection. She often displays them at local schools, libraries and museums; with plans for designing a proper museum in her garage or donating them in whole to an institution.
The S&H green stamps where made famous in Andy Warhol’s S & H Green Stamps as seen here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330273369097.
I found it really difficult to find anything that I wanted to buy that would enrich my work or my established collections. To avoid just adding to a pile of things in my studio and spending money on things that I do not really want I have posted my S&H Green Stamp books on ebay for sale; to make my money back and further perpetuate the marking up of collectibles and add to the slew of other S&H related postings.
My 1st ebay post
The theme for this collection was obviously red. Aside from color I selected some images that had further meaning about ‘red’ and images that would interact with each other.
These images were found on http://www.4chan.org, http://www.coasttocoastam.com, facebook, myspace, flickr, blogspot and google search – adam farcus