Lisa Neighbour: Hours Stolen Back From Them, 2009
Hours Stolen Back From Them began as a scheme for surviving captivity and brainwashing. Anyone who has felt ripped-off and furious, maybe wanted to smash a few things but couldn’t, this piece is for you. Everything about it is stolen. First I stole time by drawing when I was supposed to be participating in the “Teaching and Learning Academy”, a compulsory form of indoctrination for college professors. The materials were found or pinched. I copied the idea, and took the image from a website about model ships. I stole back some of my self-respect and my autonomy. Kleptomania is defined as “an obsessive urge to steal, especially when there is no economic necessity”, to which I would add the possibility of stealing for fun, for catharsis, for revenge, for escapism and out of sheer wrong-headedness. It’s not about what you steal, it’s about getting something back to replace what was stolen from you.