Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Graceful, 19C Samson Reproduction of an 18C original by the London Porcelain Factory of Bow

The expert at the auction house told me how you are supposed to be holding something that must have broken off a long time ago — a cauldron or a flame — but it simply cannot have been that your maker had wanted you to stay that way. If you had indeed once been holding something, then whoever made you must have placed it in your hands as a trial, a challenge for some future owner to come forward and avail you of your burden. Your arms are far too elegant and relaxed, your posture far too languid and flowing, your limpid expression and rosy flesh far too untroubled to have ever been meant for any sort of exertion. The likes of you are intended for nothing but a soft and diaphanous easiness, a perfect absence of conflict, like the sleeping face of a baby, or the slow caresses of enamored lovers. And if whatever it was you were holding was meant to tell a story, or convey a moral, then it must have weighed you down even more than the few grams of its clay, darkening the crimson of your cape with arduous meanings. Whoever it was, before you came into my possession, that had the grace to free you of your flame or pot, and whatever moral imperatives it came laden with, emptied you of content and set you floating slightly off from the ground, weightless, dancing ever so slightly. The way you are now must be what your maker had intended: a little embodiment of that mindless perfection of ease which we all secretly yearn for, that elegance which comes from the triumph of the body over its troubled interior, that quality we refer to as divinely bestowed since it releases you from the burden of the intellect, and which positively affirms the subject on which it has been bestowed as being that celestial thing, Graceful.
This text led to the Graceful-Gif trilogy. Episode one, two, and three, over on HandBin

NB. Post originally published in The Bi-Blog

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