Savannah Mattyasovszky


Bachelor of Visual Arts Ceramics Craft Performance Sculpture Performance Play

Still from video. Potato helmet, Potato costume, Britney Spears documentary.
AD21 Award
Auckland Art Gallery Award
For High Achievement

a lexicon of sayings

I’m making a hat, hastily, with packing tape. It turns into a helmet. Potato helmet. I’m grabbing my only brown shirt and turning it inside out. I know I look weird. I suspect the people nosying their way through my lounge window as they walk past on their daily walk must think I look a bit silly. It’s absurd. It’s a tinfoil hat-feeling-moment. I’m a couch potato. This is important research though. Important inutilious research.

a watched pot never boils

can’t wrap my head around this

couch potato

hold your horses

kill two birds with one stone

knock on wood

not a happy camper

take it with a grain of salt

I have remembered most of these sayings from playing Dingbats with my mother; a game that guesses sayings that have been made into pictorial riddles. I find parallels from this game and playing as a child in my work. Taking something which sounds just funny and then remaking it literally, it can push the boundaries of itself and become truly ludicrous. Albert Camus has been my main source of understanding absurdism, he writes that “The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.”1

Through semi-provisional performing and recording, I recount a lexicon of these sayings by doing them, in my costumes with my props and my not-alive animals, becoming absurd, and best of all, a bit funny.

1 Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus (London: Penguin UK, 1942), 26.