Queen's University Site Art - Articles - Part 3

Photo of the sculpture called A Minute of My Time (September 29, 1998 15:04-15:05)
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The squiggle in all its glory.
Photo by Andrew Norman

Understanding outdoor sculpture on campus:

Part 1:  the big white frame
Part 2:  the donut on the pole
Part 3:  the squiggle on the wall
Part 4:  the big orange triangle
Part 5:  big weird rocks
Part 6:  the biosci box

Understanding outdoor sculpture on campus
Part 3 of a 6 part series: the squiggle on the wall

By Catherine Hale, Contributor
Queen's University - The Journal
Tuesday September 23, 2003 - Issue 9, Volume 131

For this week’s instalment of understanding outdoor sculpture on campus, I decided to undertake some in-depth field research. I wanted to find out just what kind of ideas have been floating around about the “squiggle on the wall.”

The first thing I discovered was that many people have never noticed the shiny metal sculpture mounted on the east wall of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. This may be because traditionally we expect sculpture to be presented at ground level, or raised on a pedestal or platform to draw attention to it.

Those who had noticed “the squiggle on the wall” had a wide variety of interpretations of the piece. A recurring thought was that the squiggle is a stylized rendering of the name of the art centre. Another suggestion was that the squiggle is a map of some kind. Who had the right idea? Um, well, no one.

What we fondly refer to as “the squiggle on the wall” is actually just that: a squiggle, a doodle, a free-hand drawing. The title of the work is A Minute of My Time (September 29, 1998 15:04-15:05) and it is part of a series of automatic drawings or doodles produced by Micah Lexier in one minute. A Canadian artist, Lexier was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1960. He received his BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1982 and his MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1984. He currently resides in New York.

A Minute of My Time was initially created by Lexier on a train leaving Kingston after visiting the art centre site. The drawing was then enlarged through a computer scan. The stainless steel used in the sculpture was water-jet cut using a computer-guided process. The enlargement of the initial doodle is apparent when looking closely at the sculpture. The edges of the steel are not smooth---you can see the rippled edges where ink would have bled on the original paper.

Through this work, Lexier explores the passing of time. The doodle is a graphic representation of a minute spent in the mindless act of doodling.. Usually, public monuments are expected to commemorate a historical event, person, or ideal. By presenting the drawing on a monumental scale, the artist captures and freezes a fleeting moment in his life, bringing attention to its importance.

Our preoccupation with time and its measurement came to a climax with the anticipation of the new millennium. To mark this momentous event, A Minute of My Time was commissioned with the support of the Millennium Arts Fund of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Chancellor Richardson Memorial Fund and Thyssen Marathon Canada Ltd.

Next time you look down at your class notes and see the countless scribbles in the margins of the pages, perhaps you will stop and consider just how many precious moments you have captured.

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