Curated by Polly Staple

Living & Loving: #1: The Biography of Donald Cappy

By Aleksandra Mir, 2002

Living & Loving: #1: The Biography of Donald Cappy By Aleksandra Mir, 2002 is a new Cubitt Commission: a 32 page; A3 size; full colour publication. The project is the public dissemination of one ordinary man’s extraordinary life; printed in an edition of 5000 copies to be distributed for FREE from Cubitt.

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“San Francisco, December 16th, 2001,


… I’ve been working here for a few weeks now, researching this other project for the CCAC Institute, and I’ve just met this young man, Donald Cappy.

Donald is the Manager of Public Safety here on the CCAC campus where I am staying; we got talking about his life after my first night in town when I thought I was being harassed and my place broken into (by an unassuming security guard it turned out). Donald grew up in various foster homes; was a punk in his teens; went into the marines; saw 47 nations; had 50 girlfriends; was married; had a child; found the love of his life. She dumped him the day he got a divorce from his wife (Why? “Because she is a woman!”); came back to go to college; dropped out; went into security and bouncing; works the nightclubs where he meets all the stars and manages security at the school where he is buddy with all the staff and the students. Donald is 28 years old.

He showed me all his meticulously well kept photo albums and broke everything down for me in detail: The reasons why people take in foster kids and what is expected of you in return; the destroy-and-create economy of punk; the torturous aspects of love and friendship; the logic between swinging when you are married, cheating when you are not; the rituals of the marines and the intimacy between men; the fine line between violence and safety.

Donald’s life hinges on everyone else’s but this story is his only; the public dissemination of one ordinary man’s extraordinary life. I am coming back here at the end of January and will take the opportunity to spend more time with him; record our conversations and scan his photos. I have promised Donald I will make a book about his life one day, so thus extend this opportunity to you.


Living & Loving: #1: The Biography of Donald Cappy

By Aleksandra Mir, 2002

Commissioned by Polly Staple, Curator at Cubitt, London, 2001-2003

Administrated by Deirdre Kelly

Co-Published by Cubitt, London and Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation; Elephant Trust and London Arts, UK.

Distributed by Cubitt, London

Edited by Aleksandra Mir & Polly Staple

Interview transcribed by Moran Paldi

Designed by Silke Roch

Printed by Offset Colour Print Limited, Southampton

Edition: 5000

ISBN: 0-9532765-1-1

© Copyright Free

Aleksandra Mir was born 1967 in Poland. She grew up in Sweden and has been living in New York since 1989. Aleksandra is represented by Gavin Brown’s enterprise in New York, she exhibits in the US and Europe and has most recently completed a residency at the Sydney Biennale, 2002 in Australia.

Aleksandra has exhibited in the UK since 1998, working with the Transmission Gallery and the Modern Institute, most recently as part of the `Pyramids of Mars’ exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh and the Barbican, London in 2001. She held a Delfina residency in London in 2001 where she developed a commission for the Compton Verney House Trust in Warwickshire and will exhibit at the ICA in February 2003. She will be spending the summer in London to create a new commission for Cubitt.

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