What is High Maintenance Life?

The words “High Maintenance Life” are inscribed into a pavement flagstone outside Kings College, roughly opposite Nadia's. According to Francis Davey, 'A journeyman stonecutter friend says the work look much too good for a vandal (1-2 days in the workshop)'.

An email to the council highways department elicited this response:

Cannot really explain it. I have been informed by those involved in the resurfacing works of Kings Parade that we suspect that either a piece of reclaimed Yorkstone was used in the past for a repair either by one of the City's highway contractors or a utility company, or a piece of yorkstone was turned over when it was relaid and had the marks on it. The words have no meaning as far as the highway is concerned.

According to biographical notes on the sculptor Ekkehard Altenburger for the 2001 Jerwood Sculpture Awards he did this himself in around 1998 as a project on interfering with public spaces. From pages 6-7 in the recently uploaded catalogue:

Three years ago, he used his technical prowess as a carver to incise a stone slab with the words ‘High Maintenance Life.’ Although he lodged it in a pavement at the centre of Cambridge, nobody objected or tried to stop him. ‘They thought I was a council official’, he says,‘and my slab has been there ever since. I just wanted to question how things progress, to take a step back and look at the system as a whole.’

hml.txt · Last modified: 2008/08/19 21:47 by tallpaul
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