Love II - Public intervention
Sunday 19th of July 2020,
in George Street, Dunedin
It has long been clear that we live in a materialistic & consumption-driven world. With many of these impulsive (dopamine-led) purchases, we've developped an ambiguous relationship. While we enjoy hamburgers on the way home, new piece of clothing for parties or cigarettes to counter the stress, we also hate the dependency and guilt that comes with it when the goods are no longer useful or outdated.
We’ve become so used to the transitory nature of our possessions, the way we routinely swept aside things and replace them without considering the particularities of these objects. For our public intervention on George Street in Dunedin, the Nomadic Art Gallery teamed up with artists Jay Hutchinson and Ed Ritchie . In their own way, both artists taught us how to celebrate possessions as readymades. The exhibition was marked by an inherent contradictory standpoint: whilst we value material and transitory things too much, we do not truly value them enough.
Jay Hutchinson finds comfort in the disjointedness of hyper-consumerism that conceals the continuing life of objects as poetic embroideries. As a waste archeologist, he travels trough the city immortalizing the state of objects, leaving them in the exact way he'd found them. Hutchinson succeeds in transforming something filthy, despised and thrown away into time-consuming embroideries that evoke emotions. The craftsmanship, paired with the beauty and fragility of that product's existence, doesn't leave one indifferent. It confronts us with humans' tendencies to destroy everything in the strive for more pleasure and ephemeral consumption.
Although more subtle than Hutchinson’s embroideries on concrete, Ed’s series of cut-open envelopes, "Occasional belongings", is definitely as aesthetically impressive and conceptually poignant. With the arrival of smartphones and social media, letters tend to have become remnants of a by-gone romantic era of communication. And even when letters are still sent, we tend to only have eye for the message it entails, rarely for the medium itself. As our society often overlooks the beauty of unconventional and imperfect objects, we tend to lose sight for hidden aesthetics.
Jay Hutchinson - American Spirit and White Castle from the series “Broken concrete, American trash” hand- embroidery on digitally printed cotton drill with found concrete (2020).
Ed Ritchie - ‘occasional belongings (2)’ (2020).