Porstmann's Curse / Keith Allan and Kevin Malcolm

Issue 10

Porstmann's Curse

Excerpts from an ongoing conversation.
Keith Allan and Kevin Malcolm


I’ve spent most of my time looking at this work trying to determine where it is exactly. I’ve told myself it’s the Architecture School building in Glasgow and the more I convince myself of this the more I consider the irony of that building. A great crumbling testament to architecture gone wrong where future generations are taught how to design and calculate architecture in any other way but this.

The ‘face’ here is so natural, so animal like, that it completely juxtaposes with the very urban, brutalist building that it is attached to. I often wonder whether such elements of architectural facades are intentional? I like to think that the architect has chosen for this element of the building to appear as a ‘grumpy face’ for only this angle. A kind of urban trick of the eye similar to the occasions when a rock formation can appear, from a certain angle, to be an American Indian’s face and head-dress, a mountain range as a sleeping giant or a cloud as a human hand. I like the way in which the human eye can perceive certain natural things and understand them as being human in some way.

Whilst I am writing I keep trying to pick out differences between the two images of the face. Almost like an impossible game of spot the difference where the joke’s on the viewer because there is no bloody difference.


I thought to myself (believe it or not) that a picture cut in half, is half a picture. And it follows then that two halves each of a separate picture, when put together would make a whole picture, but they don’t. I suppose that should have been obvious. It is only paper on paper now, the content has dissolved or evaporated or evacuated, to where I have no idea. Certainly it is lost to my eyes and I. But there is something there still, it is not a void, I am not staring down a well or fumbling around a dark cellar trying to determine its dimensions by grazing my forehead, at least not today.

There is paper, then paint, then two more smaller bits of paper arranged neatly and not unattractively on top. The remains of the pictures align with one another in an uncomplicated yet charming way, harmonious you could call it. Like listening to music you already know and like but for the eyes and they can rest a while in it.

I found it sandwiched between several pieces of wood on my desk so I am not sure which way is up, or down. I suppose it depends which side you look at it from.

I clicked on ‘The Hour’ and it took me to www.123cashforyou.com

I like the thought of a gallery owner or collector clicking on this link and getting redirected to some spam website with big tits all over the place.


Drinking from an old coconut shell and reminiscing fondly of the succulent white fruit is all well and good, it may even induce a nice buzz - depending on the potency of the contents - but when you wake up the next day your shoes may well be on the wrong feet. You could easily find yourself back where you began, that is to say, holding an old coconut shell and thinking (maybe aloud)

“what am I going to do with this?”
What makes it all the more perplexing is that although you don’t know what to do with it, you do know you must do something with it. Some mysterious intuition forbids you from discarding it and there is a feeling that if you look at it from the correct angle or put it next to some other thing it could tell you some tale or fable that might allow you and others to think about something.

I’ve got one of these photographs in my flat. I can’t remember the title but I think it’s got something to do with Gingers?

There’s something about this form of photography that’s quite fascinating. The documentation of mundane situations. Sort of like an engineers notice board.

Old guy
Final bit in The Crystal Maze

I always wonder what other people think of first when they see work on the internet.


Lots and lots and lots of tiny squares. And each of them a part of another larger square, and so on.
Too many to count, or maybe when I retire or go to prison I will have time. But the page is rectangular, all those neat squares next to one another and you end up with a rectangle.

In the story by the Argentinian man, the universe is one vast library of nonsense, consisting of identical interconnected chambers full of books (indeed every possible book). He proposes that it continues into something approaching infinity - certainly nobody has seen its limits - but as I build it in my mind it is always taller than it is wide. Or at least the known part of it is.

The DIN format. Pliego,

1/2 pliego, 1/4 pliego, extratabloide. Porstmann’s curse.

Porstmann's Curse
3 archival pigment prints
each 21x29.7cm
edition of 3


Stacks Image 87