Technique and condition

The following entry is based on examination of the work and a questionnaire completed by the artist on 23 November, 2004, as well as documentation in the conservation record held in Sculpture Conservation.

Eighty identical cardboard boxes sourced by the artist from a supplier in Long Island, America and wrapped in bandages, from a local medical supplier, and consolidated with diluted PVA adhesive. Red pigmented resin ‘puddles’ form the other two elements of the installation.

The artist brush painted red ink across the bandaged boxes to resemble blood. Using black ink, Camnitzer also stencilled the front of each box with the inscription ‘Leftover’ and a Roman numeral or the letters AP (later additions selected by the artist). The original 1970 installation consisted of two hundred boxes but as eighty boxes make up this complete work, not all the numerals from I-LXXX are present. Each box is signed by the artist on the base using a black marker pen. The installation is not fixed. The boxes are displayed stacked on top of each other in no particular order and against a wall.

Many boxes appear slightly buckled. This is probably due to the fabrication process where drying out the tightly wrapped wet bandages on the boxes would have led to shrinkage and uneven tension. Also, if the dilute PVA soaked into the cardboard this would cause further distortion. Most boxes have a yellow-brown and black staining. This may be a result of ageing and the acidity of the cardboard. There is some tape residue with dirt adhering on the underside of some of the boxes. Dust and debris are caught in the weave of the bandages. The paint has bled into the PVA soaked bandages although this is intentional and occured during fabrication. The artist is happy with the artwork’s condition, ‘I am not concerned about the bleeding of the cardboard over time, I like the aged look and feel the piece has improved over the last 34 years’ (Camnitzer, artist questionnaire 23/11/04).

Jodie Glen-Martin and Bryony Bery
August 2005