Graham Budgett:  Lost Charms, 1992. Photo-diptychs on aluminium, each panel 100x75cm

Bayonet-ends, thrust into dark sockets,
screwed, and there was light...
At a remote screen, control is surrendered
as a gyroscope tilts along a dark beam
connecting the viewer with its object.

Fearing only that the Lord would forsake him at' last
for a thief or a camel, the prince cultivated a plot
- an earthly heaven -
and reigns king within its bounds.

In his impaired wisdom Faust knew the answer,
the fall of men and angels was their assumption.
Only believe, and Lucifer would bear them up.

One's disavowal of the other wounds deep
...the token of their devotion, crushed,
bears witness to a carefully fabricated conspiracy
- the tyranny of oaths.

What's written is not the image of what's said.
Drawn from comic culture, speech bubbles
are neither the real thing nor very similar,
but diagrams of diagrams.

[On an otherwise figureless ground]
A once rampant fist clutches it's lifeblood
and, unlike a heart beating on a breast or a brow,
holds it until supine.

Up against the ear of a living being
the dead ones still whisper of the past,
'What was here is gone' is the message
...then who speaks?
The lifeless shell does not answer, but repeats.

Lost Charms

Materially, the 'charms' pictured here are small found-objects. Redeemed for the gallery in their representation as photographic diptychs, they are assigned fresh significance in context and in name.

In metaphysical terms, fetish-like, the renominated objects are tokens of human characteristics or 'charms' that metaphorically lie in ruins, themselves unexcavated, deep beneath the tundra of Western memory.

The aura of the art-object, prognosed dead-on-arrival in the age of technological reproduction, is deemed less a matter of authenticity to be shattered by simulation, more a question of belief established by authority.