BURFORD, Kristian, 1974
Natalie and Benjamin are playing cubby, 2001
polyurethane resin, foam, paint, matress, bedding, carpet, cloth, light fixtures, crockery, book
approximate installed size 300.0 cm x 400.0 cm x 500.0 cm
After serving a reassuring warning, the men slid their arms beneath P's legs, torso and head, and with the cradle thus formed, gently removed his body from the gymnasium floor and transported it, as if it were made of a fine membrane of glass, to a lowered stretcher that, when raised, glided across the floor delivering itself and P's body into the sheltered interior of the ambulance.
The dimensions of this motion were distorted into a form that, by virtue of several strangely logical calculations, better approximated a movement through a tunnel than the cavernous expanse of the gymnasium. P's headlong orientation conspired with his inability to manipulate any part of his body to detail this impression of a tunnel by prohibiting any specific knowledge of what lay before him; everything that formed the environment through which he moved became visible only at such time as it was impossible to prepare for its arrival. Despite the potential for unease, P felt safely cocooned within his carers' absolute competence. This confidence in the absence of a threat where he might normally fear one inspired the sweet pleasure in P's situation. He delisted all of those functions that he normally deployed to defend himself against his immediate environment and maintained a complete passivity regarding any intervention that might alter his progress.
The waiting ambulance produced a comforting rumble. Like a rumbling in P's belly it reverberated not through air but through the dense matter which connected him to the vehicle's engine. As it pulled away from the gymnasium P waved goodbye with his healthy arm in a gesture that signaled the end of his performance. While he watched his classmates, and the gymnasium in which he had left them, diminish into distance, his calm and contented state furnished him with the idea that, despite the reality of his destination, he was returning.
Excerpt from A Short Story of a Broken Limb, Kristian Burford, 1998
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