Text and pics for shredded paper in Shreddie #2
"The Incomprehensibility of Damien Hirst in the Mind of Someone Uneducated"


(side 2)

Back in nineteen seventy-three when I was at university I lived in a hall of residence called Grosvenor Place just to the north of the main campus and one day while I was there I saw an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine for a piece of office equipment which I seem to remember was called a Brierley Hand Shredder and after making the obligatory jokes about why anyone would want to go shredding hands I noted the promise that using this item would allow me easily to reduce my documents to unintelligible slivers and so I suggested to my friend Andrew Holmes that some of us should pool our meagre student resources and purchase one of these for the shared use of the residents of the corridors on which we lived during term time thus allowing us to reduce our lecture notes to unintelligible slivers but he wasn't at all interested and was even so unkind as to point out that my lecture notes were already to all intents and purposes unintelligible slivers a fact I could hardly deny and which probably accounts in part for my failing to get anything better than a third class degree out of the three years I spent and largely enjoyed in Manchester but the desire to own a hand shredder has stayed with me all this time lurking in some dim recess of my consciousness and occasionally surfacing whenever I have an old credit card bill or receipt that some crime prevention article on television or in a magazine has reminded me could be vulnerable to the sort of antisocial blackguard type who might at this very moment be rummaging through the dustbins outside my home in the hope of finding information or documentation that will facilitate their nefarious and criminal desires to obtain by deception some credit card or other goods or services in my name and thus avoid paying for them themselves but also more recently in a vaguely artistic setting since I realised that the transparent box into which the shredded paper falls has certainly qualities reminiscent of what in modern art circles is called a vitrine and this coupled with the wide variety of texts which could be fed into the shredder and left half shredded protruding from the top such as pages from religious or canonical writings or bank statements instruction books photos of artists or works of art or even art reviews seems to have a certain potential for a series of such works which my first instinct is to call Shreddies after the make of breakfast cereal an empty box of which was previously used to store all my confidential documentation but I am painfully aware that this whole idea carries the risk of a slide into pretentiousness or a rather facile simulation of significance and what some people might call deep meaning but since this whole idea came to me partly as a result of the perspex boxes into which the shredded paper falls it seemed an obvious move in the second piece to pay homage to the most famous of all vitrines namely the infamous shark of Damien Hirst correctly known as the Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living but which here is called the Incomprehensibility of Damien Hirst in the Mind of Someone Uneducated which is indeed an unsubtle dig at the general dumbed-down philistinism of the great British public encouraged by Murdoch-poodle tabloids