Regimes of care: Concerning the afterlife of artists

I submit to my stocktake shifts, become their restless subject, sighting, countersigning, pitting numbers and images against objects. “Randomised”, my colleague tells me, from an appropriate social distance. A performance of witnessing without expectation (at least on my part) which is why his appearance was closer to a manifestation.

Stephen Benwell’s little statue. With a rush of feeling, he wholly punctured my procedural glumness. His tender realness, eyes fluttering upward to a neighbouring stoneware pot, he chastises the unimaginatively robust seventies ceramic for what it might have been. His twenty-something centimetres of tragicomic beauty resolute against the silent grey of our diligence. Not just present but a presence of self-elegiac composure. A resistance.

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