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Residual paroxysm of unspoken and extended closures interrogated by a malady of necrogenic subterfuge with a nice exit



Adam Cullen


09 Oct 1965 – 28 Jul 2012

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    television, air-conditioning filters, rubber, fiberglass bath, disposable nappies, various adhesives, glass-filament adhesive tape, pharmaceutical apparatus, wood, plastic/paper, sheeting, timber, varnish, mucus, ink
    75.0 x 600.0 x 700.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of the artist 2008
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Adam Cullen/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Adam Cullen

    Works in the collection


  • About

    “As an object ‘Residual paroxysm…’ recalls bodgie hospital apparatus, some sort of amateur scientific experiment, or even a home-made distillery. The components, resembling an injecting apparatus and its circulatory tubes and elements, suggest a narcotics culture made manifest. The TV is the broken animus of the circuitry/circulation system, a key to the implied exchange of fluids through the plastic tubing and matter oozing around the work. Curator and academic Edward Colless described this sculpture as both ‘criminal and aberrant’ and went on to discuss it in highly sexualized terms as a failed reproductive drive, seeing the equipment as engaged in a potential exchange of bodily fluids, but one that merged the suggestion of human genitals and technology, co-joining television and human reproduction. Colless finished with ‘If this is an emblem of maternity, then it is one convulsed in abortion. If an emblem of paternity, then it is accomplished in a dry and vain copulation’. These dysfunctional medical and anatomical analogies are not inappropriate as Cullen has often been quoted as described his work as a form of palliative care, a way of making incurable problems bearable.”

    From Wayne Tunnicliffe, ‘Let’s get lost’ in Wayne Tunniliffe (ed.) Let’s get lost, Art Gallery of New South Wales, (exh. cat.), Sydney, 2000, p 11

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 7 publications

Other works by Adam Cullen

See all 11 works