First published on 25 Jun 2008. Updated on 22 May 2009.
Duchamp put a urinal on the gallery wall and Boltanski used old clothes in his installations. We get the whole re-contextualising of the object, but still one wonders - why the peg?
"We started doing research and it got more and more interesting," says museum curator Anna Cossu. "We thought it was nice and quirky to look at a domestic commonplace item that most Sydneysiders don't ever give a second thought to." Until now.
On display are around 50 different varieties, ranging from pegs carved from trees by the hands of 19th Century English gypsies who would sell them door to door, to Italian designer pegs which cost $35-$45 for a set.
Compiled using the museum's own collection through donations over the years, museum staff also hunted in antique shops and design stores and ferreted out the pegs people had buried in their bottom drawers. The most cherished are the dolly pegs, old wooden pegs that children painted and clothed, turning them into dolls - including one from Sydney artists Charlotte Thodey who dressed hers in seaweed.
And although the world boasts only six peg collectors, known as peg-lo-maniacs, says Cossu, "some people have weird habits when it comes to pegs. Like people who only peg things up with matching colour pegs. The exhibition also explores how you hang washing and the ‘rules' of washing." Alex Chidzey
Pegged is on at the Susannah Place Museum until December 23 2008