Work : Twenty Personal Accounts. Vol.2
A series of personal perspective as to The Working Relationships between Employers and Employees. Bringing in The many interpersonal Aspects of many different levels of The Working Experience.
A Lazarus Taxon is, in this instance, a set of two collections juxtaposed for the purpose of exploring the relationship between remains from nature and those of human construction. The first collection comprises various large wheels and machine parts dating from the late industrial revolution. The second is of fossilized femur bones of various woolly mammoths.
The basis for the exhibition comes from the discovery of a rusted wrench made during an LSD trip at a world music festival in 1999. As a man-made object, the wrench had all the qualities of an archeological find: a dated and mysterious design, worse for the wear and carrying a patina descriptive of overuse. The object became representative of a bygone era of physical hardship and manufacture, a period thrown back in time to surface on that day as an equivalent Neolithic or Paleolithic artefact.
The wrench’s finding was associated with the coelacanth, a fish — formerly known only from fossils, and thought to have been extinct for 65 million years — first found alive off the coast of South Africa in 1938. Its re-appearance sparked mild hysteria in the scientific community of the time. The coelacanth was later to become the most famous Lazarus Taxon — an organism thought to be extinct which then re-appears later, in defiance of the sequential nature of evolution: an animal refusing to crawl back into its period, in effect becoming a bridge spanning a significant phase of time.
A Lazarus Taxon: Brian Pugh
A commissioned, work-related autobiography of a dental technician.
As a false classification, A Lazarus Taxon: Bones and Wheels, came to be about the falsification of objects, the act of copying, and the potential world which underlies the fake. in this light, an uncanny discovery was made when, amongst posts on an amateur film-prop recreation blog, the posts of a certain Brian Pugh a.k.a. ‘mr creepy’ were found. Pugh posted prolifically, detailing his attempts to recreate “snake scales” which appeared in the sci-fi film Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982).
The “snake scale” in the film is a link to an underworld of “replicant” humans and animals. Harrison Ford features as detective Deckard in the film, whose task it is to identify, then ‘retire’ (or terminate) the illegal and quite elusive replicants.
Pugh’s recreations are laborious and detailed, made on various plastic vellums with multiple layers of pearlescent and other paints, before being cut out and placed in little bank bags identical to those appearing in the film. Through this manufacturing process, it is evident that Pugh is indeed a skilled craftsman. he is in fact a dental technician, who in his spare time works on the props as a mere hobby.
The 1968 Pelican publication Work 2: Twenty Personal Accounts, is a compilation of various British people’s reflections on their occupations. in this two part series, it is common, for example, that a person would describe their day to day work before recoursing to complaint of pay matters, then concluding with the realisation that their job is in fact not that bad after all.
The following pages contain the history and experiences of Pugh, the dental technician commissioned to write reflections on his own work in the image of the original Work series.