20

– Spring 2009

Ode to the Chicken Man Gong

Jan Verwoert

Enrico David, Chicken Man Gong, 2005, installation view Tate Britain

Enrico David, Chicken Man Gong, 2005, installation view Tate Britain

If I were to tell you now that I have come here to speak to you in the name of the Chicken Man, would you believe me? I doubt it. Having read the top of the page, I trust you to have guessed my name. It's not Chicken. But hey, pleased to meet you, anyway!

I don't think we have been introduced. Still, it feels like I've seen your face before. You too might have seen me around. You're the reader. I'm the writer. You must know that part of what I do is bang a gong. Metaphorically speaking, that is: I am here to make a bold claim on your attention. I want someone to listen to what I have to say. So I am making a noise, I am sending out signals, in print, in the vague and not little vain hope to summon someone who might care to read this - GONG! - Attention, please! Focus!

I sincerely ask you to trust me. I will not waste your time. Yes, you're right, I have not done much so far to earn your trust. Until now I have failed to give you any information that would justify my claiming your attention. Neither have I disclosed who the Chicken Man is, in whose name I invoke you here, nor have I given you any clue as to what subject I intend to address. I concede: this is highly unprofessional.