A bit about my upcoming show at Place PDX (a process based gallery housed on the top floor of a fancy mall in downtown PDX) opening June 18th -
ABOUT THE SHOW:
From outside it's glass doors, De-consume is set up to mirror a high end boutique, yet its interior exhibits objects, smells and actions not usually found in stores. Glass containers filled with mud, hair, pebbles, chicken, goat feces, feathers, dust and moss sit upon shelves. Anatomically correct nude suits (two female and two male) hang from a wardrobe rack. Perfume bottles containing mysterious organic tinctures sit on a table ready to be sniffed akin to a perfume counter at a department store. Non-verbal sounds such as coughing, sighing, breathing, yowling, belching, and digesting can be absorbed through a pair of headphones.
Throughout the duration of the exhibit, there will be three store events:
1. Simple meal (this will be a raw - and freshly plucked from an organic garden - smorgasbord)
2. Sniffing booth (willing participants will sniff each other in all possible and impossible places)
3. Mud roll (Myself and any other participants will be invited to sit in and/or roll around in mud)
"Shopping is a threatening phenomenon, on the way to making a complete conquest after which there will be nowhere left free from its imprint." Rachel Bowlby
"We have reached the point where "consumption" has grasped the whole of life…work, leisure, nature and culture all previously dispersed, separate, and more or less irreducible entities that produced anxiety and complexity in our real life, and on our "anarchic and archaic" cities, have finally become mixed, massaged, climate-controlled, and domesticated into the single activity of perpetual shopping." Jean Baudrillard
De-consume is a parody of what is found in any American mall, on cruise ships and in airports and on fifth avenue in Manhattan - convincing brand identities and tactile packaging that lure consumers in no matter what the goods are inside.
In any consumer driven culture there is an incessant bombardment of objects we don't necessarily need, but are made to want. Sleek packaging and clever ad campaigns tempt consumers in and unscrupulously penetrate wallets and minds. These objects often have little to do with basic survival, but successfully convince us that our identities depend on them. The newest white I-phone, Prada's Spring 2011 shoe line, a bigger and better house, we are made to feel inadequate despite how little or how much we may already have. Where at one point shopping was an exercise in consumer freedom - it has now become corporate manipulation most cannot avoid.
De-consume exhibits some of what remains (mostly) unscathed by commodification here on earth: dirt, dust, animal feces, moss, leaves, hair, putrid and organic aromas, and guttural sounds usually ignored by most ears.
Viewers are encouraged to open and sniff containers, take off shoes, walk backwards, crawl, yowl, pass gas, roll around and most importantly, forget what it is you've bought into.