Missing, presumed art: Ceal Floyer’s Do Not Remove

Ceal Floyer, Do Not Remove, 2011

Ceal Floyer, Do Not Remove, 2011

I would say I promise to stop writing about Ceal Floyer’s work soon, but, well, there’s at least one more post forming itself in my head so who knows really. She provides just the right mix of ideas, empty white space (usually, but of course now another post, about work that isn’t empty or white is starting to form) and playfulness to make sure I’m fully engaged. In consisting largely of rawlplugs, Do Not Remove reminds me quite a lot of (some of) Susan Collis’s work which I’ve also written about here ad nauseam. Plus, there’s a sign and I rather like signs (indeed I find myself slight surprised to find that I haven’t tagged loads of posts as ‘signs’ but I suspect that’s down to shoddy tagging rather than a lack of posts about signs).

Wall plugs, readymade 'Do Not Remove' sign, wall

Anyway, what pleases me here is in part the neatness of the grid of rawlplugs – surely such careful placing must be for a reason, so why is nothing attached to the wall? – and that sign: Do Not Remove. Was the grid made to hold stuff to the wall? If so, what? The emptiness of the blank wall is an absence, it’s just that we have no way of knowing what might be missing. It seems clear that the sign was wilfully ignored. Or was it? The sign of course fits the grid perfectly and it’s using one quartet of rawlplugs so it’s not telling us to leave what’s (no longer?) there; it’s part of the system.

Wall plugs, readymade 'Do Not Remove' sign, wall

And, of course, given that signs need to be understood, this is a work that changes depending on where it’s shown. The sign itself is a readymade and, as with the receipt, it’s repurchased local to where the work is shown in the appropriate language, otherwise how would visitors know not to remove anything?

There’s a neatness to all this that pleases me. But then, as has long since been established here, I’m easily pleased.

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