Godot's Day Off

Oil on C-type print

106 x 84 cms


The Artists proof from the making of the photographic artwork


painted over with oil to give the figure a check jacket, bowler hat and several smoking pipes. In


The Artist "re-cycles" a Magritte self-portrait which features an apple - symbol of secret knowledge from the Garden of Eden - instead of a human head. In Turk's interpretation, instead of an apple, on The Artist's neck sits a chicken's egg. A recurring theme in Turk's work, eggs are symbols of new life and new ideas. What ideas even now are hatching in The Artist's mind? What new life/meaning has Turk given to the original Magritte painting? Meanwhile, the title of the piece refers to Samuel Beckett's famous absurdist play,

Waiting For Godot.

Is Godot, the possibly redemptive, possibly fictitious mystery character for whom The Artist also is waiting. (For what? To give him The Answer? Inspiration? A hotline to The Truth?). Or is The Artist, as the title more directly suggests, the nebulous Godot himself? Acquiring even more layers of meaning,

Godot's Day Off

goes further. Here, the egg head is both surreally - and indeed apparently serenely - smoking multiple pipes in a homage not only to Magritte but also Duchamp, both of whom were famous pipe smokers but also Magritte's famous surrealist joke,

Ce N'Est Pas Une Pipe

(This Is Not A Pipe) - a drawing of a pipe which questions the notion of representation. Meanwhile, pipe-smoking itself stands for intellectual contemplation and pausing to think. Gentlemen - especially old fashioned ones - tend to smoke pipes. They also tend to wear the traditional English bowler hat. This bowler hat hints at not only the English intellectual but the English establishment - to which the artist may or may not belong - and also to the English stiff upper lip. The Third Eye in the centre of the bowler hat, meanwhile, subverts this institutionalisation of intellectual ideas with its proposition not only of a psychic window onto the soul but also onto the mystery and the enigma of The Truth.