Hoarding as art?

alisandeAugust 11, 2009

This is a quote from TresSugar, but I read about the show last night in The New Yorker. I'm not tempted to go.

I'm very excited that I'm going to be in New York soon to see Beijing-based artist Song Dong's installation Waste Not at the Museum of Modern Art. With his mother's collaboration, the artist gathered 50 years worth of objects (some useful, some puzzling) that she collected in the spirit of the Cultural Revolution's version of "waste not, want not." The installation includes a portion of the family's Beijing home that was reassembled and installed in the MoMA's atrium, along with chipped plates, bottles without caps, and other items which "form a miniature cityscape that viewers can navigate around and through."

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Song Dong's mother was a product of a socio-political indoctrination. There wasn't a facet of life Mao didn't have a finger on, including believing life's detritus served a purpose. She wasn't given the option of throwing things away until the Cultural Revolution was deemed unnecessary.

Frankly, I don't see much difference in this type of installation than I see in the the scrap yard artists welding together cast off car parts and other metal objects. To carry it even further - not too much different, really, than the creations on the Garden Junk Forum - the chipped plates and pottery shards and all the other broken bits and pieces of someone's life carefully accumulated and glued on a bowling ball.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 4:33PM
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Actually, when I pick up a copy of Country Living or similar magazine, which I confess I like, I frequently see spreads on what I'm figuring out is hoarding as art. I'm seduced by artful shelves of 50 whatsits or 40 white ironstone platters ("I use them in my daily cooking, I do!")and of course there is an "art" and design element of arranging such things in the home (or now, even outside the house). But I learned I'm susceptible to the pull of these arrangements, of wanting to collect things that seem so nifty, seems to define my personal decorating style, seems irresistable, but ultimately is just one more lead weight--there's just not enought TIME to collect and care for it. And then it's back to wanting empty space and clear table tops.

It's the cycle of life, I guess.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 8:59PM
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If "hoarding is art," I have the Mona Lisa in my garage!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 10:43AM
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