14 Jul 2008
Found-object-as-art is often a tricky one. Art may be where you find it, it might be in the eye of the beholder, but how do you convey to the visitor/viewer that the brass ornament fly, bought from the local charity shop and crudely inserted into the brass ornament frog, is art?

Peter Saville has the answer.

Revealed at the recent Q&A session at Manchester's Cornerhouse to mark the Manchester release of his book Estate, Peter Saville described 'flatpack plinth' as his "most important work since the cover of [New Order's] Power, Corruption and Lies".

The inspiration came during the installation of his 2005/6 solo archive exhibition at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zürich on which Estate is based.

Running out of space on a table displaying an array of his own 'found objects', Saville asked the gallery to provide him with a plinth on which to display an "interesting" plastic bird door chime.

The result so impressed Saville as to realise that the act of placing the bird onto a plinth elevated it to the status of art object: "the plinth actually formalised why the bird was interesting".

Realising the potential of such a mass-produced "universal accessory... to empower people's judgement", the Saville-designed, white cardboard 'flatpack plinth' is now in production with a limited initial run of 2000 expected to be available in September 2008, priced at GBP 40.00.

'Plastic Bird Door Chime' is available from Funky Lighting, priced GBP 12.99.

'Frog Eat Fly' (moist, 2005) is not for sale.



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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

Factory Records

The Durutti Column