Layson a Stick, 1989
Wooden broomsticks with enamel paint, wire and plastic leis
Dimensions vary with installation
ulrich loock: would you say these types of words sort of hit you?
al taylor: they hit me and i have to get something made quickly, because whatever hits me i know i’m going to heal from. my use of language is sort of like a songwriter looking for a hook. take a piece like “layson a stick”… i joined some broomsticks together imprecisely, causing a slight angle, and then i attached them to the wall with wires in a manner that played up this downward angle. at the point where the angle starts to droop i hung on some plastic hawaiian leis. that started me thinking about the words “lei” and “lay” - ‘lay’ on a stick. so now on an adolescent level the work became a visual analogy for the sexual act, the old “in and out” but, more importantly, it is a good excuse for using color. i could play with tones and values to imply a tunnel - light before dark or reverse the tunnel and it becomes an entrance, or ignore those illusions and work on more combinations like “these ‘leis on a stick’ lie on a stick”… ‘lies’ on a stick seemed close to an untruth. then it dawned on me that ‘lays on’ sounds like the french word ‘liaison’ which completed a circle of logic. all of this took about 8-10 minutes of hands-on action, but the real working time was stretched out over 5 hours of looking and thinking that will take years to draw.