Aleksandra Mir

Who is D. C.?

[a-n] magazine, Newcastle, Dec 2002
By Christopher Brown

And why does he deserve a biography? Although every fact you could possibly want to know (or not) about the man is detailed in Living and Loving: No 1—The Biography of D. C., this full-colour glossy broadsheet by Aleksandra Mir leaves its subject strangely unfathomable, even after the final page is turned.

Mir's career to date includes Hello featured at this year's Sydney Biennale, and her intervention Pink Tank, permanently situated in Bermondsea. She is the champion of ordinary folk, proclaiming that, "Everybody's story is equally important, so the little suburban birthday party celebration is as important as Liz Taylor getting married." In this instance Mir accounts how, during her artist residency at California College of Arts and Crafts, she met CCAC security manager D. C., an ordinary man leading an extraordinary life.

Dispelling the idea that the biography is reserved for the latter years of notable celebrities, Mir chose to portray this anonymous man barely out of his twenties. Over 32 pages, a warts-and-all transcription of conversations between the artist and C gives a full-blown account of his life in his own words, from birth to present day. His is an unremarkable existence: a story of foster care, growing up, first love, employment, national service and mohekans. In the absence of a natural family he has catalogued and archived his life on camera. Pages of snapshots, passport photos and portraits are laid out like a scrapbook, completing the publication.

However, this life story isn't over—this is an unfinished chapter. In 50 years time this publication will be a social document of young America. But now it is a testament to the ordinary man, an evaluation of all that is everyday, undertaken with a level of indulgence reserved normally for the rich and famous.