Why I Love: Secret sparks

Gavin Turk, artist
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The Independent Online

In Italy they sell beautiful matchboxes whose name translates as "Friendly Flames". Inside, the matches are little wax sticks with sulphur tips. Now, as an outsider, you would have no way of knowing this unless you lucked out, but there's a little local children's secret about these matchboxes. You bend one into a little parcel shape, set fire to it and throw it a foot or two away from you. Then there's a tiny explosion, like a stink bomb. It's very gentle – but it's playing with matches, which is naughty.

I love these kinds of little local intimacies, culturally specific but cross-culturally enjoyable. It's almost like learning a colloquialism. I was in my late thirties when I found out about this, but I still love it.

Presque Rien II, a group show co-curated by Gavin Turk and Cedric Christie, is at the Laure Genillard Gallery (2 Hanway Place, London W1, 020 7323 6523), to 10 January.

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