Nicholas Mahady 
August 9th–22nd 2023 

The man asks a security guard if the NGV owns a Morandi. No, sir. He’s stricken by surprise. Surely? No sir, only a drawing that is rarely on these walls. Light sensitivity. You see I’m a photographer. Oh yes. What do you shoot on? Uh, sorry sir, that family, hands, touching, the. Nice talking to you. Shame about the Morandi.

Lots of artists were security guards, you know? Ryman, Andre, Morris. Tell me more. Well, I’m not sure who else. But Ryman it was his education, you see. I was joking. Oh. Smoking is going to kill you. I saw a program on anatomy. It clogs your arteries. He stubs out his cigarette. It rolls in the wind.

Every morning the young man eats his breakfast at the kitchen table. There is a vase in its centre. The flower arrangement changes every three days: the vase is never empty. He caresses it with two fingers. Then clutches it, as if it is a human neck. He washes a Tupperware container and fills it with his lunch. He leaves and starts his day.

The photographer plays department store Muzak. Click. Flash. Click. Click. Muffled, something something your way back to my heart. He is talkative today. Muttering about libidinal allegory. Michael Asher uh exposing the gallery gas heating. All the pipes going to the centre. He asks the model to get hard. Do you have any porn? A magazine? Anything? No. Look at me. The model visits his bank. Earlier today somebody deposited a thousand dollars into your account, sir. Thank you.

The darkroom assistant under the red light. Fringe, hair tied back. Dark skirt, white shirt. My son is having a Cowboys and Indians phase. The man nods in recognition. He is more attentive to the photographs. We dug up a dead tree yesterday. A huge mound of soil is in the yard. I struck a pipe because I thought it was a tree root. Too bad.


— DM