If you’re looking for a nice afternoon time-waster, follow Daniel Eatock’s lead. Take an object on your desk–a paperweight, a stapler, a folder–and cast your gaze around your office until you find its mate. The pairing could be one based purely on form, or it could be a connection born of material, color, or function. All that matters is that the two fit together in some slightly compelling way. And that’s it! You’re done.
That’s the simple formula Eatock follows to make the pieces in his One + One series. One object plus another. Sometimes, it’s an unlikely pair that fits together in some deeply satisfying way (if you’re prone to getting the ASMR tingles, these might do it for you). In one case, Eatock sits an ice cream cone perfectly atop a traffic cone; in another, he uses the horn of a megaphone to perfectly cover the opening of a fish bowl.
Other combinations make for a more transformational effect, like the wheelbarrow sitting atop a walker which ends up looking like some sort of pathetic robot. Some incongruous pairings, like the push lawnmower standing on top of an ironing board, take on an air of the surreal.
It’s easy to see the works as spiritual descendants of Duchamp’s readymades–and thus easy to subject them to the same “I could do that!” criticism. And it’s true, you probably could. I’d encourage it. In a world full of stuff–too much stuff, really–commonplace objects often become invisible to us. This type of matchmaking encourages us to give them a closer look.
Eatock’s One + One is on view at the Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University in London through the end of the month.