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OED Definition
Pronunciation: /dʒʌŋk/
Noun [mass noun]: 1 informal old or discarded articles that are considered useless or of little value; worthless writing, talk, or ideas; a person’s belongings; US vulgar slang a man’s genitals. 2 informal heroin. 3 the lump of oily fibrous tissue in a sperm whale’s head, containing spermaceti.
Verb [with object] informal: discard or abandon unceremoniously
Origin: late Middle English (denoting an old or inferior rope): of unknown origin. junk1 (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the mid 19th century

“That was in the good old days before they started calling junk antiques.” Robert Hughes on Surrealism and the Paris flea markets.

“Unless the information gained from the collecting and preparing of fossils is made available through the printed page, assemblage specimens is [sic] essentially a pile of meaningless junk.” Robertson Smithson quoting paleontologist Edwin Colbert, published in Formless: A User’s Guide by Yve-Alain Bois and Rosalind Krauss, Zone Books, 1997.

“Kitsch … is one of the major categories of the modern object. Knick-knacks, rustic odds-and-ends, souvenirs, lampshades, and African masks: the kitsch-object is collectively this whole plethora of “trashy,” sham or faked objects, this whole museum of junk which proliferates everywhere…. Kitsch is the equivalent to the “cliché” in discourse.” Jean Baudrillard – The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures (1997) SAGE, London

Pablo Picasso – Bull’s Head (1942) Bicycle seat and handlebars.

Joseph Cornell – Untitled (Cockatoo and Corks) c. 1948

Gareth Moore – A place near the buried canal (2010–12) at dOCUMENTA(13)

Noble & Webster – Wild Mood Swings (2009-10). 2 wooden stepladders, discarded wood, light projector. Tim: 178.5 x 110 x 167cm, Sue: 215 x 98.5 x 130cm.

Liz West – Illumination (2012) light box, found objects, 150cm x 150cm x 40cm


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