Ken Lum and Hubert Damisch “Ultimo Bagaglio”
Published October 2008
Concept: Hubert Damisch, Ken Lum
Objects in box include a printed six-page essay, an instruction leaflet, one hotel pen, one sock, one miniature Eiffel Tower, one dictionary, a small mirror, one nail clipper, one black stone, one small lock, one key, one bamboo object, one DVD, one Vancouver bus ticket, one sheet of music, as well as four passport photos.
Produced in an edition of fifteen copies, with nine artists’ proofs.
Artist Ken Lum and writer Hubert Damisch change roles and swap ideas in this delightful 21st century update of the Duchampian boite en valise. The object, a book and suitcase, contains a meditation on traveling and memory by Damisch, and a selection of objects suggested by Ken Lum, and sourced in Europe and North America. Traveling, writing, thought, and the storing of memory are alluded to in what appears like a surgeon’s kit. The Roman writer Cicero once suggested locating the points of an orated speech around different objects remembered in a room, in his famous text on the art of rhetoric. In the hands of Lum and Damisch, the difference between objects and writing is elided, much in the way that their symbiotic artistic collaboration has united historically opposed professions. The future of art history--and art--might be said to reside in this little box of treasures.