Imagine Withstanding the lightness of shipping/travel

TransFriable by Patrick Beaulieu
The work by Patrick Beaulieu ‘TRANSFRIABLE – Lost Docks’ held the capacity to intrigue the viewer with the results of shipping fragile objects across the globe. The works strike a chord of existentialism if one choses to associate it. The work could be about deception of facades, seen in the need to call-yourself-a-company artwork. The artist tasks himeself to seek clients to ship things across the globe, and he replaces these with material that are a lot more fragile and breakable. In one work, in a situationist fashion, the artist tried to interject an event, and raise curiousity about shipping breakables, and in one work, goldfishes across the ocean by enquiring at local aquarium-shops and shipping companies. Which could probably be done through air-freight, as demonstrated by Qianhu, a Singaporean global exporter of ornamental fish. But the point is, can an artist do it? To many, perhaps it isn’t important whether ‘why’, but ‘how’.
These fragile objects consisted of glass, with a nut or bolt in it with ridiculously little packing, or Chinese porcelain with an equally daunting metal object placed within it. Some objects are broken, some surprisingly survived. One can’t help but feel a sense of awe for these solitary journeys taken by these objects, and their the ominous impending danger. One feels lesser towards the artist, when he threatens to ship goldfishes, in a fish tank in a container where temperatures could possibly rise to 60 degrees centigrade.
His interest in the fragility of displacement, both metaphysical and physical first saw light here, where he had shown a video, and the actual tree that was shipped from Canada, to PKW several years ago. I would say his interest is in stretching the relationship between people,objects, animals et al.

Patrick Beaulieu ‘TRANSFRIABLE – Lost Docks’These objects could also represent emotions, or per chance the human mind. Emotions are displaced by a flux of events that we embroil ourselves in the everyday – we sometimes get frustrated that things are not going our way, and that we are not in total control. When we do get frustrated, we want to get away from the source of that frustration. These distractions, mental journeys or physical vacations one take or task, are like Patrick’s seemingly meaningless tasks – shipping worth-less objects which perhaps only makes good sense to the (decision) maker. Survival of the objects give us, the viewer a little sense of satisfaction or emotional reward. Perhaps as an observer and not participant, we get to choose which little bits of the exhibit to feel joy for.

The press release of the exhibition can be found on Juliana Yasin’s blog:


Ended 7th October 2006, PKW Gallery

3.0 of 5 stars


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