The MacGuffin Library (2008)
Text, Polymer Resin, Video
A term attributed to Hitchcock, the MacGuffin is a cinematic plot device, usually an object, that serves to set and keep the story in motion despite lacking intrinsic importance. For this project, the MacGuffin is seen as a unique object typology, existing within the constraints of cinema, and defined in shape and function to achieve the singular purpose of driving a filmic narrative.
The MacGuffin Library proposes the foundations for a library of MacGuffins, produced by first authoring a series of film synopsis’ which are used to inform a collection of objects to be designed, manufactured and catalogued. The film plots address themes stemming from a disparate range of interests and inspirations: Re-enactments, unorthodox fantasies, Borges and Carver short stories, forgeries, urban myths, high and low brow cinema, alternative histories, and the relationship between media and memory.
The objects are made out of a black polymer resin using a rapid prototype machine. There is an essential, necessary subversion in this approach to production, as an advanced fabrication and manufacturing technology is being juxtaposed with the imaginary through the creation of fictional objects for nonexistent films. Through the industrial process, detailing and materiality, the pieces produced sit in an unnatural space, challenging their status as art objects, being neither ‘products’, nor ‘sculptures’, nor ‘props’, but an amalgamation of all three. In collaboration with Noam Toran and Keith Jones.
Commissioned by Claire Catterall for the exhibition “Wouldn’t it be Nice” at the Somerset House, London.