All Apologies

“Excuse me”, “If you’re sure it’s all right”, ” I don’t want to impose”; apologetic, rueful phrases and quite often the manner in which we start a sentence. All Apologies comments on typical modes of communication and the social conditions that have provoked this state of apology. These phrases are embroidered in a handwritten style on to white cotton handkerchiefs “dropped ” onto the floor of the exhibition space. Thus creating the sense of an object apologetic for its own existence.

Materials: White cotton handkerchiefs (54), embroidery, starch

Size: Variable

Position: Floor based

Date: 2001

Text from handkerchiefs:

I’m sorry
I’m really very sorry
I’m really terribly sorry
I really am sorry
Do you mind terribly?
I’ll try harder
Yes, but…
I didn’t mean to
Excuse me
I’ll make it up to you
Is it all right if I…
I know I’m in your way
Do you mind?
I’m fine
I’m not sure you are going to like this
Please don’t be upset
I don’t want to impose
Sorry to disturb you

Would you consider…
Is it all right if I disturb you

This will probably sound pathetic
I’ll make it up to you
I’m fine
Unless you have any objections
If it isn’t too much trouble
Do you think you might be able to…?
Sorry to interrupt
Do you mind if I interrupt?
You’re not going to like this
I don’t mind
Is it all right with you?I’m sorry to trouble you
Please excuse the mess
I have to apologise
Anything you want is OK with me

I don’t know, I don’t mind
I’m sure you know better

This is probably going to be an awful bother

There was nothing I could do
Are you very angry with me?
I’m really embarrassed
I’m not explaining myself very well
I’m probably not making myself clear
When you have time, maybe?
I don’t mean to upset you
It’s all my fault it must be my fault
Is there anything else you need from me?
Is there anything else I can do for you?
You can say no
I don’t mean to be rude
If you’re sure it’s all right
What do you think?
Can I interrupt you?
I feel really awful, but…
Sometime when it suits you, could you…?