The dark clouds were already taking over the sky and the wind was picking up speed. A rain storm was definitely on its way and I was stuck outside walking around Chelsea going in and out of galleries. I was racing against time and hoping that the rain would wait until class was over and all the galleries were visited. I went on a couple of floors before we moved on. I was already on my way to the next gallery with two of my friends when my professor stopped us to ask about what we thought of the exhibit we just visited. Once learning of our failed attempt to find it, she redirected us back to the same building and to another floor and suggested we reconsider skipping that exhibit. Her excitement about it peeked my interest, making me realize, that if she was so persistent on us checking it out, maybe it was worth the trip back. Boy, was I right.
As soon as I entered the gallery, I noticed a simple design of black and white on all three walls of the first room. Upon getting closer to the wall, I realized that there was something quite unusual; it was not a typical wall. My eyes had to adjust to see that the entire wall was covered in keys from computer keyboards. This installation that I was looking at was a creation made by Sarah Frost. She discovers her materials at either garage sales or garbage cans and for this particular project, found these keys off of keyboards discarded by individuals, small businesses, financial institutions, etc. I found this first part of the exhibition intriguing and I mused at the thought of this artist collecting all of these keys and spending all that time piecing each one together. Not only were there three wall installations but they were even mapped out in designs, simple as they were. She kept the colors of the keys, adding an authentic quality to it. At a closer look, I also noticed some keys were taken from an old model of a type writer. I personally enjoyed that aspect, just because of my appreciation for antiques.
While standing in that room, I noticed something large and green out of the corner of my eye in the next room. Walking towards it, I realized that the large green mass was consolidated in a large case (kind of looked like a fish tank actually). Just like the first installation, I had to get even closer before my eyes could adjust to what was in front of me. Inside this glass case were lots of objects that were of the same color: green. That was the one similarity that all the objects had. It was interesting to see how all of these objects looked together as a mass in comparison to when they are spread out in our daily lives. This piece is titled “Green Piece: Sarcophagus.” I don’t really know what to make of the title, since a sarcophagus can mean a coffin or burial box. The only thing that I get from this piece is a sense of negligence. It reminds me of the children’s story of the velveteen rabbit who was once a boy’s favorite toy until it got old and eventually forgotten. These objects too gave me the impression of once being of use to their owners and of now being cast aside. Now, actually that I’m thinking about it, the title does make sense. This is kind of the place where all of those neglected green objects go once their “time is up.”
While examining this green piece, I hear a cry from one of my friends coming from the other room. I walk over there, and am suddenly bombarded with pink. Just like the green piece of the other room, these were objects collected by the artist that were of the color pink. It ranged from pink hair curlers, barrettes, and toys to pink kitchen gadgets, tampons, and dildos. The objects were spread out on a large table and the color was so overwhelming that even the walls were illuminated in pink. This work titled “Pink Project” and the green installation from the next room were both created by Portia Munson who started collecting the pink objects in light of global attention to the environment. Some have remarked that it’s a tribute to feminism. In my opinion, I find it comical and overpowering. Amazing just how many things in this world is the color pink. As a young girl growing up as a tom-boy, the color pink was kind of a color I chose to dismiss especially when it came to my wardrobe. To any other people who felt or feel the same way about this color, I feel like this artwork is a way if pushing it on someone. It’s kind of like someone saying, “You don’t like pink? Oh well, here you go!” In that way it has a desensitizing effect that I thought was sure to work on my one friend who cried out earlier.
When I continued my walk into the next room, I had to take a step back and stand at the entrance way to take in what I was observing. There in front of me were a few large pieces of black masses that from a distance looked like something you would see out of a science fiction movie about space and time. One piece in particular at the opposite corner was suspended from the ceiling and gave off a feeling of grandness. At a closer look, I noticed that these installations (which comprise a series entitled “Landmines”) were made of found plastic, or essentially- garbage. The fantasy quality that it evokes and the elaborateness of this work, made this piece my favorite of them all. I just wanted to stand and stare at the masses until I picked apart each one, discovering what something really was. Amazing how found objects can be made into something beautiful and awe-inspiring. This, I assume, was the intention of the artist, Aurora Robson. Last semester at FIT, I was struggling with how found objects could be assembled to make a coherent and interesting piece of artwork. This exhibit was definitely an inspiration and just as simply a time well spent viewing.