Sam Wagstaff Gives Good, 2002

paint, MDF pedestal, rolodex card, glass, LCD projector, DVD video player, amp, set of headphones
Projection 40 x 60 cm
installation size: 400 x 200 x 200 cm
duration: 9 minutes

This work is a projection of hands flicking through a rolodex accompanied by a voice-over of an American man (aka Wagstaff) recounting in detail the personal items he has donated to museums over the previous 20 years. The dialogue was improvised by the actor as he shuffled through the fictionalised index of Wagstaff’s household possessions. The work playfully addressed the collection of art as personal fetish, validating domestic items as collectables via the museum cataloguing process. The mounted rolodex card with Wagstaff’s Fifth Avenue address was found in the trash of a museum office that Phelan was working in for work experience after his studies.

The piece was made for “Perspective 2002”, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast 2002 selected by Sarah Pierce and Jacob Fabricius. Also exhibited at “Small: The Object in Film, Video and Slide Installation”, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2004 curated by Henriette Huldisch and at “The Art World”, Feinkost, Berlin, 2007 curated by Aaron Moulton.