This is not a concrete column. This is not graffiti. This is something entirely different. It is a picture, a photo of graffiti. It is printed on dibond, the type of aluminum that is used for traffic signs, for example. And these metal sheets are then screwed onto a plywood construction. And all this is put in a different, non-street setting (in this case, the «lovely Dicken's Library of the Mary Ward House, Bloomsbury, London», but in another, more gallery-like setting, which make it seem much poorer, almost as if it were a strictly site-specific installation).
But what is striking about this is that it is exactly what it seems - a dislocated object, a rupture in reality, an addition that questions its context. In that sense, it is correct to say this is a column with graffiti. Because here, in this space, that is what works, what creates the tension. And then, all the other levels come into play, in this sort of a hide-and-seek of «objectiveness». It all stops somewhere, because it is a self-commenting (self-referential, if you like) convention. It plays on the very fact that it's a fake. And that it is still incredibly near to reality. So near, the showing fragments of plywood actually seem glued onto the concrete pillar.
The fact that the installation is in a library seems crucial (no matter why it actually got there). It speaks volumes about what we are, who we are. Our «means of expression» and aesthetic values and the gut need for destruction (or is this just me?). At the same time, it is a taming object. It tames the defying attitude of the original by turning it into a slick, clean, savvy copy of itself. Now, this is the pillar of knowledge. Of civilization. Of us. It is what sustains - or what makes us believe it sustains the heavy walls of our libraries. And if we ridicule it for being a fake structure, we might just bee too confident in our own walls. Underestimating the actual proximity of the object, and the image.
Kristin Posehn, Replicant (2005-2006)