A Rutgers University study stated that flowers actually have the capacity to make us happy. Just as flowers eventually bloom from the forest's waste, I wondered if by placing cardboard flowers on a pile of trash I'd be able to mimic nature's creative affect. I wondered if the random passerby might receive a jolt of joy at the uncommon sight. I wondered if the owners of the property (or the city) would now feel more compelled to clean up; or if the pile of trash had just become a work of art.
Calvin Brett Presents “Packaging Space”
Just about everything we own is packaged and shipped in cardboard boxes. We use the items for a short bit of time, then we toss them in landfills or flush them down the ocean. Treasure in our American society is very often turned into trash. And the lives of those who make our luxury items are very often filled with little luxury at all. Some complain about increased inflow of immigration while our society drains the life force from the global majority in order to sate our desire for consumption.
Through this piece, “Packaging Space”, we invite the public to consider how all of our actions relate. How objects have their own unique lives, taking new functions depending on the context we choose to view them in. We aim to increase our consciousness as it pertains to reuse and promote creativity as an opposing force to entropy. We also aim to display how everything is in constant state of transformation: what one day is a tree, the next day is table, the next day a shelf, and the next day perhaps a work of art..
The piece was on display at The Scrap Exchange 1/26/18 - 2/10/2018
Visitors were invited to write -using chalk- on cardboard their thoughts in response to the contemporary black male experience.
Video was projected on various black icons from the last 100 years to inspire subconscious reflection.
Black light symbolized Black Consciousness
Cardboard symbolized the tradition of protest overthrowing oppression.
Chalk symbolized the slaying of black men.
Cotton tufts symbolized the tradition of black labor.
By exhibits end, visitors who walked around experienced documents of pain, outcries, black culture and compassion. The moment they wrote something, their voice became apart of the larger narrative.
I hung a red curtain to block out the light, and to my surprise, during the day the room was washed in red light. In retrospect, the red light provided a place for healing and compassion.
Scrap fabric, mirrors, bed frame, lights mannequins and a visitors book, were used to imagine the history of a space rumored to be a brothel. The use of hanging fabric, arranged from largest to smallest, created curtains towards the entrance and the look of women's underwear towards the rear of the space.
The room was divided in two. The front room was an entrance, while back room, complete with hanging bed, provided privacy.