So did we. 🙂
As you might imagine, the papers used in the games at REVIEW started to accumulate in the floor. We had predicted that fact (wow) and decided it would be interesting to let the papers do precisely that, accumulate.
Last tuesday we arrived at our yellow place to find out the result of the games played so far had vanished. It wasn’t long till we discovered the cleaning lady had collected all the scientific papers’ pages lying crumbled on the floor and had bid them goodbye. She looked through the hole in the yellow wall, found the place a mess, asked someone for the key of the room, and prepared that nice surprise for us. The place was really really tidy, now.
She ment well. And no harm was done in the end. The scientists didn’t get mad for having their papers trashed (:P), we had the chance to rediscover we really wanted the remains of the games to remain on the floor, and all we had to do was a couple of games to have the place “filthy” again.
This episode reminded me of some similar interactions (given the appropriate distances) between the cleaning staff and the art world. The citation in the title of this post is from this article about the trashing of a work of art from Damien Hirst by a janitor, in 2001. The ‘american good ol’ way’ style of the last paragraph is quite funny, and recalls the always difficult boundary of establishing what is art and what is not (or, eventually, what is garbage).
A similar story in Portugal and in Portuguese can be found here.
p.s. in case you’re wondering about all the paper we are using “just” to play with it, we also gave it a thought before start printing and crumbling the articles. We decided it was important for our work to do things this way and also decided that, after using the paper, we were going to re-use it and then re-use it and then re-use it and in the end recycle it.
(except, of course, for those specimens caught by the cleaning lady)