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Digital transcript of screen printed introductory wall text:


Pieces of Naploeon Blownapart*


The absence of any authentic sources specifically detailing the events of Napoleon Blownapart’s life have inspired many to question whether he ever existed as a singular individual. Indeed, influential scholars have maintained for centuries that the Blownapart story is a conflation of different events from within and around the time he supposedly lived. That is, until now. Today I present to you Pieces of Napoleon Blownapart, a fragment of his famously great, and infamously doomed, collection of material things. Though hidden in the shadows for centuries, this small fragment of Blownapart’s possessions have finally been brought out into the light of day.


Long forgotten amidst the colossal renovations that took place after the overthrow of EU, Blownapart’s diminished belongings have been excavated from the very building it is mythologized he once inhabited. Accidently discovered during the installation of a commemorative panel at the landmark historical site, we now see with our own eyes that the lingering remnants of Blownapart’s once vast collection were left untouched. In fact, it seems that during the original renovations Blownapart’s remaining possessions were actually bricked over, plastered, and painted out of sight––preserving for posterity a tiny remainder of the legendarily vast Blownapart collection. It is debatable why, against prevailing customs, these objects were not simply taken from his quarters and re-circulated into the ground, sea, or air. It is also a mystery as to what the objects might have looked like at the time he owned them, or why he had held these particular pieces so close. Might some of these material forms once have illustrated fragments of Blownapart himself, the Blownapart body and mind; or perhaps aspects of the foreign world he inhabited? We may never know. Nonetheless, these conglomerates of polymers, minerals, and fibers are materially consistent with other “collectable” objects from the Capitalocene era, guaranteeing their historical authenticity.


The Napoleon Blownapart story has been told by many different generations, of very different scientific articulations and philosophical ontologies. He has been referred to as “the taker and the loser,” “the piles of conquering and blisters of dismantling,” and of course in our day he is closely associated with the popular idiom: “you can’t even hide things in the bog.” Though ages have passed since the days of Blownapart’s swift and bold attempt to take all things in his grasp (and his even more abrupt failure to hold onto them) the story of this man’s folly has ironically proven to be immortal. Now behold, the only known physical testament to a most classic tale, which as your children can surely recite, begins with these words:

“The material is light on the surface. It melts right over into everything, nothing, floats away here and doesn’t come back. It blows away right over the rainbow. Trying to hold it, you cannot. With secret meetings and secret handshakes, Napoleon blows apart.”


*All text dimensionally translated by Jan Dickey

Digital transcript of screen printed "flyers" pinned on the outside of the Common's Gallery door, as well as throughout the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Art Building:




Certain unwarranted claims are being circulated amongst us. These claims center around the appearance of a handful of artifacts, supposedly ancient, which are currently occupying the walls and the floor of our community’s Commons Gallery. The material objects in question are erroneously being presented to the public as the Pieces of Napoleon Blownapart. This of course refers to the famous mythical character whose story has been used for generations as a lyrical strategy to educate children on the transience of all things. The maker of this exhibition has fallaciously claimed that the materials on display somehow support a historical narrative wherein Napoleon Blownapart once existed as a singular individual and was, at one time, the owner of an actual collection of material objects. The purpose of this notice is to make it clear to our community that these claims are in no way supported by science, nor are they grounded in historical fact. The Napoleon Blownapart tale is, and has always been, a sequence of metaphors that combine non-sensical phrases with what little we can know about the by-gone empires associated with the ontological position of capitalism. Moreover, the implication that a collection of material things, like this one, should deserve to be reverentially displayed in our Commons Gallery, as this one has, undermines the very notion that you can’t even hide things in the bog. Therefore, as a concerned member of the community, I recommend that these objects be removed from the gallery and treated no differently than any other aspect of the Clump. 

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