Tiny Failures

I

As a child, I remember reading – or imagine reading (and really, what is the difference?) – about Alberto Giacometti’s trouble with his stubborn, shrinking sculptures. He would craft these things from memory, and with each new attempt he would despair at their defiantly diminutive dimensions. Each one smaller than the last.

Revolting little rejects – weightless and without volume – locked away in tiny prisons. Three small matchboxes sealing sickly sculptures born in spite of their artist.

Older now, I can’t help but wonder how clumsy and grotesque his imagined masterpiece would have looked amongst the perfection of such tiny failures.

II

As a child, I remember reading – or imagine reading (and really, what is the difference?) – about Alberto Giacometti’s trouble with his stubborn, shrinking sculptures. He would craft these things from memory, and with each new attempt he would despair at their defiantly diminutive dimensions. Each one smaller than the last.

Revolting little rejects – weightless and without volume – locked away in tiny prisons. Three small matchboxes sealing sickly sculptures born in spite of their artist.

Older now, I can’t help but wonder what tiny violence Giacometti was so afraid of that he would lock his little beasts away in cardboard coffins.

III

As a child, I remember reading – or imagine reading (and really, what is the difference?) – about Alberto Giacometti’s trouble with his stubborn, shrinking sculptures. He would craft these things from memory, and with each new attempt he would despair at their defiantly diminutive dimensions. Each one smaller than the last.

Revolting little rejects – weightless and without volume – locked away in tiny prisons. Three small matchboxes sealing sickly sculptures born in spite of their artist.

Older now, I can’t help but envy anyone who can hide their failures away in just a few tiny matchboxes.

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