Not Tony Curtis: Reflections of an Unidentified Man

The latest blog from Adam De Ville,  Resident Armchair Artist at The Beaney in Canterbury.

We brought him here for us to wonder, along with all the possible versions of his history and more in imagined flashbacks, glimpses in our mind’s eye, conjured realms, and a daydream or two.

The Unidentified Man played host to merry whispers, candid conversions and close encounters last Saturday morning where he sat staring into his mirror to the sound of classic crooners as though pondering his existence in his elaborate dressing room. Maybe he could finally smell the coffee and tea cakes.

And he was definitely NOT Tony Curtis in Spartacus (or any other film for that matter).

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But he was alive.

So my latest installation went well! Visitors gave the Unidentified Man a name, a background in some cases, and they shared how he made them feel. We talked about his origins and where he might be going on his journey through time.

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Visitor responses gave a certain sense of our current sensibilities, popular culture and willingness to extend the life of an artefact beyond its origins. Its origin story could be read alongside the labels where thoughts were shared. The artefact came alive and seemed more real…

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Here’s a video:

Here’s another one:

And he allowed me a moment in his reflection…

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Artefacts in exhibition case The Beaney Museum

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