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Carry me along oh road
the headless camel project


in collaboration with Paddy Hamilton

“One might, indeed, believe that the camel is something that is at the most critical point of all life, where futility is at its most distressing”. (Documents, Critical Dictionary. )

" Here we see the way that two artists respond to the space of the city (psychologically, temporaly and physically). The initial acephalic camelus dromedarius was, we are told, an objet trouvé – an excremental craft-work made by human labour; cast from cow-shit & clay. As a completely chance find amid the urban debris of the landscape – in a city built over a sewer, a certain ambiguity is attached to its being-for-others.

The map, as we know, is an authoritarian device which can never be accurate (i.e. the 1:1 map cannot exist, accept in fiction: Borges), and there are always hidden immensities that will escape its (grided) measuring rod, in actuality. Cultural domination (i.e. any official culture) is the imposition of a cognitive map – in answer to the need of power to orientate anyone who might wish to break free – it seeks to deny the heterogeneous, under the cosh of homogeneity. ....." Max Gramar - 1995

This project is the result of a three-year ongoing collaboration exploring cultural displacement within an urban environment. The two artists respond to life in the city (London), developing a multi-media project which began with the chance discovery of a headless camel cast made from the earth.

A silhouette of the headless camel was placed over a map of London, marking 62 necessary points for the project's completion. At each point, in a documented physical exchange, the artists install a plaster cast of the camel, observe and remove found objects, thereby completing a cycle of give and take, displacement and belonging.

The headless camel (as a simple existential posture) coupled with the project's records of objects, photographs, videos and writings (memory and contemplation) create a whole, yet still evolving, experience.
Since introducing the project at Art Projects International, Paddy and Emmanuelle have made public presentations at the following institutions: Slade School of Art, London; Museum of London, London; New York University, New York City.

Also, the project is continuously expanding and now various other artists are working on the project in Quebec City, New York City, Paris, and Delhi.

exhibited in ART PROJECTS INTERNATIONAL gallery in , New York, NOVEMBER 9 – 30, 1995

headless camel postcard 

luggage for London journey 

map of London journey 

on the (London) road 

plaster cast of headless camel at one destination 

photographic evidence of London journey 

exhibition view - API New York 

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