PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
Codpiece made from "Viners" Sheffield stainless-steel table knives, corroded iron spring washers, silver, shibuichi and set with cubic zirconia stones.
The text to accompany this, should anyone be interested, reads:
"Empire State Human  – A Post-Industrial Codpiece
"The 1980s saw an emasculation of Britain, nowhere more so than in the heart of steel-producing cities like Sheffield where a political agenda cut away at the core values described by Marx as 'The Dignity of Labour'. The destruction of this pure ideal lead to the current hubristic - in the Ancient Greek sense of ὕβρις - political thinking, endless recession and the crushing humiliation of a service-drone population.
"Taking a cue from the Nitzchean and Marxist ideals of the music which evolved in Sheffield [2,3] at the very point of transition from industrial to post-industrial – music by bands like The Human League and Cabaret Voltaire – this piece seeks to protect the steel-worker from both literal and figurative castration by the god/dess Mammon, leaving the wearer’s ideals and body Stain-less.
" The title 'Empire State Human' is taken from a track by The Human League, written in 1979. In this song the lyrics express a Nietzschean ideal:
"'I never wanted to be human size
“'So I avoid the crowds and traffic jams
“'They just remind me of how small I am...
“'...if I'm not tall, tall, tall, then I will grow, grow, grow
“'Because I'm not tall, tall, tall, tall, tall, tall, tall, tall'
"See also David Stubbs, 'The Battle Between Thatcherite Pop and Marxist Funk', The Quietus, March 27th 2009.
" 'Made In Sheffield', Plexifilm DVD, ASIN B0009I7NGC 2001 - interviews with Philip Oakey (The Human League) and Richard H Kirk (Cabaret Voltaire).
" 'Synth Britannia', BBC Enterprises, Broadcast on BBC 4, 2nd August, 2010 – interview with Richard H Kirk (Cabaret Voltaire)."
Photograph by Simon Murphy, all rights reserved.