Statement 053/365

22nd February 2015 Quotation ( On Kienholz )

“…Kienholz had purchased a Tiffany style glass lamp on the East coast, and on his flight back to Los Angeles TWA staff refused to let him carry it on board. He warned them that it had to be handled with great care by the baggage crew, since he had done everything he could to protect it, and TWA assured him that there would be no problem. When he reached Los Angeles, he opened up the packaging and discovered that the lamp had been shattered. He was seething, but he waited a few days before driving back to the TWA terminal with a clipboard, paper, and a measuring tape. He very carefully examined the lost and found desk in TWA’s baggage claim department.

Kienholz went home again and wrote up a proclamation stating exactly what his lamp was worth. Then he returned to the terminal with a big fire axe, marked off the length of the desk whose materials were worth exactly as much as the piece he’d shipped, told everyone to stand back, and proceeded to destroy it. He had a photographer with him who took pictures of the whole incident. He didn’t hide anything: he simply declared what he was going to do and did it.”

An extract from “A note from the underworld”, by Walter Hopps