[Details on Request]

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Wednesday, 10 March 2010


[Details on Request] often find themselves drawn to work that is labour intensive whilst verging on pointless.  Nothing makes a time consuming activity more worthless than when it can be completed more swiftly another way and yet this is what makes the outcome the more prized.

And so it was with great interest and eager anticipation that [DoR] went to Seventeen Gallery to see Graham Dolphin’s pencil drawn reproductions of four suicide notes by cult musicians.  These notes left by Elliot Smith, Kurt Cobain, Ian Curtis and Phil Ochs are widely recognised but by hand drawing each one Dolphin re-values them and shows his personal appreciation of them and their writers.  In fact three out of the four notes have been take from attributed myths surrounding the musicians deaths.  They have been taken from rumours and stories which surround the icons deaths; the story goes that Elliot Smith argued with his girlfriend in a hotel, stabbed himself and left a message on a post-it note on the mirror; Phil Ochs hung himself with a note saying ‘There is nothing left to write about’ pinned to his chest and the envelope with the name Deborah was taken from the last shot of the film Control about Ian Curtis.  Only Kurt Cobain’s letter to Buddah is one that can be read on the Internet.  A suicide note is probably more private than a love letter and yet we are presented with them as part of an exhibition, both appealing and repulsing the viewer.  These dual reactions are mirrored in the concept of the exhibition as a whole- our fascination with death and even more so the detached and somewhat imitated grief with celebrity death that is can be personal without having any kind of relationship with the person.  Dolphin has also recreated an exact copy of the bench outside Kurt Cobain’s house in Seattle, distressing a new bench with three years of fan’s messages, candles and friendship bracelets in a couple of months with in his studio.  He copied six replicas of a bust that was on Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris from photographs showing how it became worn away with graffiti and eventually stolen from the site.  



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[Amber. S. V. Ablett]

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