Artist collaborations can be tricky simply for the delicate balance that has to be achieved between the overlapping of two practices without loosing their individual voices. This semester, Freddie Thomas and I made an attempt at the same through our exhibition for project space. Consumerism and education, the core subjects of our works are not very far apart from each other. Both retain a fundamental position in modern societies as undeniably pillars of growth and development. Shopping or education, both define an individual, who in multiples further form the framework of a society. These parallels provided us a solid ground to create a space where individual works would reflect off each other to create a dialogue about existent social systems . ‘Consumption’ whether of education or of material goods took the foreground to create a debate about growth and excess of it. The group crit saw a healthy discourse for the above discussed topics, interestingly the critiques often some for both the works in unison which for the artists/curators was a sign of success.
My own work for the exhibition was a 9 feet banner as a response to Freddie’s practice( she is known for her textiles and collage banners emboldened by witty statements). The pink back ground of the banner was a conscious decision. If there is any gender assignation known to us, then ‘shopping’ is universally seen and understood as a female activity. The particular pink is the very pink of the shopping bags, many people interestingly mostly females came up during the exhibition and mentioned how they loved the pink. or how it was a perfect pink. This affirms why this particular hue is the most commonly used pink for shopping bags, luxury goods, high street fashion etc.
The statement itself, re-appropriated after Barbara Kruger’s famous work, was put together with a pig, an icon for greed/gluttony. . The statement refers to self affirmation, consuming itself described as an activity that shapes one’s identity. In this respect,the 80s with commercial boom make a perfect setting for Kruger’s work. After the last crash, as the word economy is still struggling to get back to its feet, yet many many decades of consumption defining our identities has become so engrained in our social fabric, a few years of economic crisis is not exactly paving way for abstinence. We still go on hoarding, and shopping, consuming after all is a moral and social duty. Whether we can contain ourselves or not doesn’t form a major concern. This is why a melting pig is an appropriate identification.
Futuristically I am excited by the idea of working in the realms of banner. Not all might have or need slogans. None the less a banner, whether as a sign of protest or an advertisement, would make an excellent and appropriate setting for the protesting images I want to create.