Big Pinky (2016)—a return to the medium after working primarily with performance and installation for over a decade. Big Pinky became an important work for me, in that I have sought to reconcile my experimental performance based practice with my early formalist training at Sydney’s National Art School. Big Pinky was also inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915–23). You can see a nod to it through the turning black funnel, but also in the anthropomorphic qualities of the work: Big Pinky is a mechanical portrait of a kind of flawed male. It elegantly rises with its tall legs but its kinetic properties are clumsy and dysfunctional.
democracy to some of the most remote regions of the planet. Did I not, in a feat of unparalleled engineering tunnel from one side of the planet to the other bringing intercourse between the republics of Nueva Zealandia and Spain? But why make such statements. There is no need to compare me to you. You are a fraud. You claim to be “an artist”, but if I were to speak with honesty I would have to say that you are just a fortunate man. You are fortunate in that you have happened to be in the same place and time as The Great Tino La Bamba and Renny Kodgers. Because of this fact you have been able to claim our work as your own.
rk: You like the big words don’t you. I reckon that if someone asked you to describe a pineapple you wouldn’t be able to do in under five hundred pages. Fact, the best and fastest way to talk about something is to shove it up deep inside and listen to the timbre of the yelp. You talk about Big Pinky like it’s some kind of legacy to a man called Du-Chomp. Big Pinky is about two elements and two elements only: thrusting and timing. It ain’t no “Large Glass” and it ain’t no “reconciliation”. If it must be drawn into comparisons, it is like humping while eating a piece of toast. ms: So you turned it into a two-bit honky-tonk gambling machine. Big Pinky is best observed in the crisp clean setting of a gallery; where you can see its craftsmanship. You installed it in a night club and got everyone to bet on whether the eggs were empty or still had a yolk in them. If it was revealed that an egg had a yolk you’d shout out: “Preggie”. rk: I did indeed. But you act all high and mighty like I did you wrong. If you just think on it for one moment you’ll see I did you a solid. I did you a favour by turning the sculpture into a bingo machine. I got Big Pinky out there. I got its funnel turning. People got to clappin’. Folk got to pretend they were pregnant. That’s a win in my book. tlb: Señor Kodgers is right. You, Mister Mark are a pretentious and rude man. You have no class. You are petty and you are ungrateful. But perhaps your most ugly and defining quality is your ignorance. You underestimate The Great Tino La Bamba, Governor of Lismore and Lord of the Sixty-two Moons of Saturn. I have built space ships that have travelled all the way to Hobart and back. And if you dare to question my ability to build then you mock my dearest possession, Platanito. The mechanic steed that I built blind-folded with my bare hands: no tools, nothing but my palms to bend the metal into shape and my finger nails to screw her beautiful joints together. Just look at my accomplishments, have I not brought free will and
ms: I hate to burst your bubble Tino, but you didn’t build Platanito. And you didn’t tunnel to the other side of the world. In fact from all accounts you barely made it three metres. And you Renny, you’re a throw back to the 1950s, you’re a two-bit, one-liner entertainer with a penchant for jokes about arseholes and penises. You act like you’re everyone’s big daddy, but nobody likes you. Didn’t you get the message in 50 Ways to Kill Renny Kodgers? You get crushed, drowned, decapitated and suffocated and yet you still act like everyone wants to have you round for a Sunday dinner. And your radio show on FBi, it made the ears of listeners bleed. FBi couldn’t wait to can it. I could have killed you both off years ago but what would be the point. You’d continue to exist like zombies wandering around aim-lessly in the collective unconscious snacking on the vague vestiges of your own flotsam and jetsam.
above, opposite Mark Shorter Big Pinky 2016 Hardwood, steel, aluminium, eggshells, plaster, resin 180 x 150 x 90 cm Artbank collection, commissioned 2016
Australian art, culture, etc.