Southbank VIC 3006
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ABN 14 612 435 687
12 March 2019
To the Reader,
Letter of Support for Jessie Bullivant’s The Guardian
I am writing in support of Jessie Bullivant’s 20l8 work, The Guardian, which was produced for the exhibition Infrastructuralism, curated by Kent Wilson at the Latrobe Art Institute (‘LAI’).
I note that I first met Jessie in 2016 and we have remained friends ever since.
In early 2018, Jessie asked me to assist them with their work, The Guardian. Consequently, I took instructions from Kent Wilson and his partner Lucy to draft their Wills in my capacity as a lawyer. I undertook this work as a favour to Jessie and it was a pleasure to work with all parties involved.
The Guardian took the form of the Wills of Kent and Lucy. I recall that it was the first time Kent and Lucy had made Wills and they welcomed the opportunity. Pertinent to Jessie’s work, these Wills included a clause that appointed Jessie as guardian of one of their children in the event that they both predeceased that child while that child was still a minor.
Among other things, I advised Kent and Lucy that in order for their Wills to reflect their wishes they should make new Wills whenever their circumstances change. I also advised them that if they make new Wills they should destroy all prior Wills (including any copies of them) to ensure their complete revocation.
The Guardian was exhibited as both of the Wills framed behind glass. Only the cover pages, on which were written the name of the Willmaker and the date the Will was executed, were visible. It is my understanding that Jessie was interested in the way legal documents make an agreement between parties both visible and concrete. In addition to the materiality of the agreement, the work brings up questions relating to how decisions are authenticated and the boundaries of what we can consider as an artwork.
Letter of Support for Jessie Bullivant’s The Guardian 12 March 2019
Jessie informs me that they have since donated The Guardian to the LAI collection, where it will be cared for in perpetuity. This implies that if Kent and Lucy make new Wills in the future then the destruction and revocation of their prior Wills may be complicated by the rules of the collection and its associated conservation requirements. Such a development highlights the vast and complex scope of The Guardian.
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