work: the unfound work

The Unfound Work is work which, at least to begin with, was just that - Unfound. It always existed. And it was always findable…

The ideas behind the work

In the mid 1990's, Geoff Bunn took "tat, junk and charity shop rejects" and produced strange and rather unusual pieces of art. But in as far as this went, odd as Bunn's work was, it was nothing particularly unusual in an age of recycled art. Bunn, however, went a step further than most: firstly, in a deliberate attempt to remove both the gallery and the critic from the whole process, Bunn then placed these works in ordinary, everday settings.

Then, using various exhibitions and other means, he announced the existence of these objects whilst, at the same time, refusing to say what they were, or where they were, or what their significance was. This much, he announced, had to be discovered from his Clues. But what was all this about?

Well, as Bunn himself has said, "The idea was to make things. And then put them out of reach of people who did not understand them. In galleries, at exhibitions, one gets all too often the visitor being confronted by something he or she does not understand". Bunn continues to state that this is not the fault of the artist nor of the viewer, but of the gallery for presenting something the viewer is expected to understand "as if they have some kind of sixth sense".

However, by placing objects in an environment whereby they could only be discovered if one followed his 'Clues', Bunn claimed that his art could only be seen or "be found by someone who understands what it is they are searching for and why". In essence, the Unfound work is Bunn's attempt to overcome the "lack of grasp" so often witnessed in the gallery.

Finally, when - or if - a piece is found, the finder notifies Bunn (via the official website). If the discovery is confirmed as being correct the finder has a piece of the 'Unfound' art. The artist knows that someone has the piece. The piece is held by someone who understand what it is they are looking at. The gallery and the "dumbfounded viewer" have been excluded from the whole process.

The Unfound project today

By all accounts, many - but not yet all - of the 27 Unfound pieces have been recovered. Bunn knows who has which pieces. The owners or finders of the pieces know what they have. Galleries, Critics have been completely excluded from the event. The project looks to have been a success.

But will any of the pieces be passed on, in years to come, to a gallery?

If they are, then perhaps Bunn has lost the game.

If they are not, then perhaps he has won.


Geoff Bunn Art & Artist


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