Kari Stewart and Shireen Taylor
Intermedia Gallery, 26 October – 18 November 2018
The Receiver of Wreck is currently on annual leave.
The Receiver of Wreck or ‘Coroner of The Seas’ reminds us that all wreck consisting of flotsam jetsam and lagan must be reported to the Receiver of Wreck.
Wreck law, as it is known, tells us that all things found at sea or on the beach, including the beach itself, all belong to someone.
In fact, it is not clear whether or not we wreckers have the right to be on the beach at all.
The good-and-honest-wrecker, or ‘beachcomber’ as he is referred to by the uninitiated, does his duty and reports all his sea-washed and sun-dried findings directly to the Receiver of Wreck.
The Receiver of Wreck’s office hours are 10am – 4pm Saturdays through Thursdays and 10am to 3pm on Fridays.
Upon the Receiver of Wreck’s desk can be found
i. broken bits of lobster pots,
ii. choice pieces of gribbled planking and travel floats,
iii. ginger beer bottles from the middle of the 18th century,
iv. some kind of He-Man action figure covered in goose barnacles,
v. balls of tangled nylon fishing line,
vi. small lumps of jet and ambergris,
vii. the rotting corpse of a pilot whale,
viii. tropical cowrie shells,
ix. a jar of pickled sea beet,
x. beach pebbles,
amongst thick swathes of kelp.
When the Moon is at perigee and tides are particularly high or low, The Receiver of Wreck secretly wishes the good-and-honest-wrecker could, just once, draw a line between what ought to be reported and what is perhaps better quietly tidied away. Perhaps explore the thrilling underworld of ‘Amazing DIY Hacks for Driftwood’ or ‘34 Seashell Crafts to Make Your Summer Memories Last a Lifetime’. Soon enough however, she lets the thought wash away as she reminds herself that an endless procession of good-and-honest-wreckers will always mean job security.
The Receiver of Wreck has just stepped into a meeting that should last all morning.
Occasionally, The Receiver of Wreck’s keyboard and unclaimed property forms become so buried beneath the great quantity of flotsam, jetsam, and lagan that she finds herself spending entire days staring down at the motley spread before her, turning over sun-bleached cuttlebones and empty spiny spider-crab shells in her hands. How curious that there is nothing macabre about them. They are so perfect and clean that instead of the sort of reaction one expects in touching mortal remains, there is a pleasure in their ever so delicate colouring and structure.
The Receiver of Wreck has just popped out for a flat white and ham croissant but will respond to your enquiries as soon as possible.
In the Receiver of Wreck’s pigeonhole, we find
i. grapefruit and oranges that have been washed ashore,
ii. a pint tin of Emergency drinking water tinned in America,
iii. 100lb bales of rubber,
v. acorn barnacles,
vi. goose barnacles,
vii. egg cases of dogfish and skate,
viii. an undrinkable cask of Algerian wine,
ix. a tin of sherbet,
x. a consignment of bicycle seats (some clean some barnacled),
xi. beech nuts,
xiii. a plum stone,
xiv. two peach stones
xv. a 4” x 1” piece of parquet flooring inscribed with a message to The Receiver of Wreck.
I built a fence entirely of wreck recently and it runs along the path which leads to the beach. I received a few adverse comments, but I consider it natural to build a wall on a beach out of wreck. We are told that we live on a ‘Heritage Coast’. I don’t have a clue what ‘heritage’ is supposed to mean in the context of a coast but the dictionary gives the definition of heritage as ‘that which is or may be inherited’. My grandmother was a wrecker, so was my mother, and I’ve always suspected that wrecking is genetically controlled, so if there’s wreck on a beach I am programmed to pick it up. I can’t help it. It’s in the blood.
Signed A. Wrecker.Work, clockwise from entry:
The Receiver of Wreck is taken from a longer text by Kari Stewart, originally written to be performed.
Kari Stewart (b.1981, United States) is a visual artist, curator and teacher based in Glasgow. Recent solo and group exhibitions include: Glasshouse, 2018 Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Glasgow International; Tongue Fest, 2017, So Soft Collective, Laurieston Arches, Glasgow; Soft Formalities, 2017, Studio 3 Gallery, University of Kent Canterbury, Kent; #instagood, 2016 (solo), The Chalet, Glasgow; Culte Cargo, (with Conor Kelly), 2016, VoidoidARCHIVE, Glasgow; Not Titled, 2016 with Conor Kelly and Dan Monks, IN PLACE, Dublin, Ireland; Bluffs and other drawings, 2016, Confined Spaces, The Old Gaol, Campbeltown, Argyll; Bruce [sic], 2015 (solo), Govanhill Baths, Glasgow; Queens Park Music Club Vol 2, 2015, (interactive publication), Queens Park Railway Club, Glasgow; and We’ll Make Art of Fragments, 2013 (solo), Armenian Centre for Contemporary and Experimental Art, Yerevan, Armenia.
Shireen Taylor (b.1978, United Kingdom) is a visual artist, curator and arts producer based in Glasgow. She is the co-founder of The Hidden Noise curatorial project. Recent projects include: For Matthew 2018, with Douglas Morland for GI2018, Mitchell Library, Glasgow; The United Kingdom of Earth – A Brexit Apocalypse 2017, performance with DW Robertson, CCA, Glasgow; The Queen and King of the Beach, 2017 (Solo) 24hr Window, Glasgow; New Work, 2017 with Alistair Dearie and Sally Wright, Project Room, Glasgow; The Decline of Western Civilisation 2016, with Baldvin Ringsted, Otto Piene, for GI2016, The Hidden Noise, Glasgow.