Slab Base for a Future Monument

2014, non-drying concrete ingredients, wooden formwork, tarp. 1m x 1m x 10 cm.

A pristine slab was poured in the gallery, using concrete ingredients specially formulated to never dry. Predictably, the surface was marred early on by a curious visitor, even though there was never an invitation extended to touch the minimal work. Subsequent visitors inferred permission from the first markings, and the surface quickly became a messy palimpsest of these interventions. Copious handprints and initials spoke to visitors' desire to exert some measure of agency over the piece, which at times resembled a sort of garbled Walk of Fame. However, on the perpetually-malleable surface, these personal inscriptions were as easily eradicated as made, and the history recorded in the concrete remained in constant flux.

Installation view, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto, for the exhibition Why Can't Minimal, curated by John Hampton.

Above: slab upon installation.

Above: the slab three weeks after installation.

Grateful acknowledgements: The Toronto Arts Council, John deWal, John G. Hampton, Christopher Regimbal