June 21 – October 31st, 2011
Opening Reception and Roof Top Party, Tuesday, June 21st, 7-10 PM.
Directions: 910 Grand Street, Brooklyn NY
take the L train to the Grand Street
In Loving Memory is an installation made of discarded outdoor chairs found in the garbage on the streets of New York.While the chairs serve their purpose as patio furniture on the roof of the NURTUREart, the installation addresses the issue of fast-paced cycles of the consumerism and the impermanence and the interchangeability of things, where actual ownership often represents a short-lived affair before rejection.Each chair has a plaque attached to its back. As memorial benches and chairs with inscriptions are erected to celebrate the honorable dead or living with a notion of monumentality, these plaques commemorate worn out, obsolete, and generally uncool characters recalling un-monumental aspects of everyday life. Whilst these may represent the reasons for the negation, together they create an inclusive monument questioning the mechanisms of the culture of disposal.
The presentation of this project mimics the hunter-gatherer’s need for detailed knowledge of the environment and its cycles, while suggesting that rummaging through discarded objects can convey the kind of emotions and excitement usually associated to hunting and gathering in the wild. The result is a collection of garden chairs in a variety of styles and forms that could never be found in a single catalog, a diversity that reflects the abundance of refused objects available to those who seek.
The chairs were found in the garbage in the New York metro area. Based on their condition they were refurbished to a functional state and sanitized. Their overall appearance was preserved to maintain the unique character of each piece. The finding process was recorded on a map linking the origin of each object to the site in which it is presented. The chairs are identified using the found evidence and facts such as the type, material and condition, which serve as a starting point to recollect the story of its past. A brass plaque is attached to the chair’s back, characterizing the chair’s personality. The focus is on creating personal narratives of the individual pieces based on the found facts and fictional associations. A panel with a map of the locations of the finds and the personal stories in a style of National Parks information panel is documenting the project. While the memorial benches and chairs usually celebrate the honorable dead or living with a notion of monumentality, the stories In Loving Memory commemorate the mundane, ephemeral, aspects of everyday life.
Finally, collecting furniture on the streets allowed the artists to re-enact the experience of furnishing their own apartment with found furniture after their move to New York. The found objects, besides their functionality, provided connection to a history grounded in the city, becoming a vehicle of memory and association. This experience was one of the motivations that ignited our interest in the mechanics consumerist cycles, the position and the role of the subject (the consumer) and a search for alternative possibilities left for his or her input. While today the majority of household objects are anonymous mass-produced editions of the same identical form, we see the effect of use, wear and tear becoming an important element of creativity, overwriting the original generic commodity.
Check out the photos from the opening on the NURTUREart Facebook