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Archive for January, 2010

Andy Holden isn’t your average 20-something-year old guy in many ways. For a start, he knits.

When he was 14, on a family holiday, he visited the Great Pyramid of Cheops, Giza. Shunning the rainbow-coloured stationary, rock candy and faux marble of the tourist gift shops, he settled on a more authentic prize: a piece of stone stolen from the pyramid itself.

Thirteen years on, he determined to right his wrong, revisiting the pyramid in the hope (vain, I fear) that he might return it to its rightful home. This is all documented in a video, recorded by a local he enlisted in a nearby café- and I say “all” pretty lightly here. I watched the film all the way to its very (abrupt) end, at which point Andy was still wandering aimlessly around the pyramid, up and down, pressing the guilty article onto random areas of stone. I’m pretty darn sure he didn’t find the spot.

The video is on show at the Tate Britain as part of its latest Art Now installation, alongside Andy’s giant replica of the rock, knitted (yes, knitted!) out of sandy-coloured wool and set around a huge frame- a physical manifestation of his guilt, and perhaps even some form of spiritual atonement for his sin. Meticulously painstaking, it is a laboured reflection of one man’s ever-swelling sense of guilt.

In its current home, a cosy little corner off the Tate Britain’s central hall, the piece really is a presence in the room. For us it’s just a rock, for Andy it’s an elephant.

In terms of the sculpture, then, I think it’s unbelievable. On Holden’s quest to Egypt, however, I can say only this: he must be a nice lad…

and it’s the thought that counts.

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