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Wood, broken plastic toys, glue
104 x 96cm
Collection: Jack Ginsberg 
Text: Jack M Ginsberg

Black Christmas

  • This is a two-dimensional sculpture that shows the paradoxical dichotomy between the joyful and the gloomy aspects of Christmas. The colourful array of toys 'raining down on' the Christmas tree evokes childhood fantasies of an overabundance of Christmas presents, as found especially in middle- and upper-class families. They also depict the way in which the conspicuous consumption of contemporary society has come to represent Christmas. It is entirely apt that the world's most popular song is I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.


    The black Christmas tree itself, on the other hand, conveys the sense of a menacing technology very similar to that of the Borg spaceship cube in Star Trek or Darth Vader's Deathstar in Star Wars. The surface, although actually similar to that of the colourful portion, has an entirely different, threatening and hostile feeling. This is a black, not a white Christmas, which portrays the way many lonely or cynical people have come to view the pagan holiday.


    Guillaume Apollinaire (1880--1918), one of the most influential and the earliest of the concrete poets, included a poem, Il Pluet (It is raining) in slanting typographical rain in his Calligrames. This sculpture is the even more concrete conceptual equivalent!

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