The Collected Moments of Idleness Drawing as a Spoken Word

The title for this show takes reference from Heinrich Böll’s short story Dr Murke’s Collected Silences in which the main character, Murke, collects discarded audio tape containing the silences from radio programmes; the pauses, breaks, moments for breath.

The Collected Moments of Idleness contains audio excerpts from abandoned buildings in Zeitz; recordings of the inactive (or idle) spaces in this city. These sounds are contained within a boundary of hand crocheted rope.

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The well known English phrase “The devil makes work for idle hands”, originating from the Bible, suggests that one who has no goal or work to occupy them and lives in an unproductive manner will be easily tempted into sin and evil. It was thought that one should always keep their hands busy and occupied as Darian Leader, in his book Hands, explains;

… ‘a knot of misses busy at their needles’, because such work provides ‘a security against the most dangerous ensnares of the soul, by enabling themselves to exclude idleness from their solitary moments.’ 

And later,

To knit is to make, to create, to share, to participate, yes, but it is also to ward off, to block, to keep in check and, perhaps, fundamentally, to bind.

The manic overload of crocheted butcher’s string in this show measures over 70km long and through its creation records a passage of time of the artist’s life. The audio recordings and the rope together embody the states and affects of idleness.

 

 

Darian Leader ‘Hands’ (UK: Penguin Random House, 2016), p.57

Leader ‘Hands’, p.58