Untitled (Plastics) (2017)
Untitled (Plastics) acts as a tangible flowchart - a sketchbook page printed out, enlarged and abstracted - which aimed to make sense of the multitude of seemingly unrelated themes my work was adopting.
Previously, viral trends and memetic aesthetics had been used as baseline materials for artistic labour. Their styles and movements were replicated within my methodology with the purpose of bringing audience attention to their appropriation within advertising, and how this act affected the intended message of both the original material and their corporate copies. In this piece, I began investigating instead how memetic language and techniques could be harnessed to promote discussion on wider social and political issues, predominantly the topic of disillusionment within corporate media.
Barthes’ text Mythologies, specifically his writings on plastics, was the base point of creating this work. I wanted to take a thing, an idea, and abstract it in multiple ways to demonstrate how the same signs, symbols and myths can be interpreted differently depending on the aesthetics or language being used.
Untitled (Plastics) acts as a visual essay for an audience, creating a space where they must interpret clues which when pieced together gave a better sense of the intentions of the work. The work orbits a somewhat reflective sheet of perspex, to both physically demonstrate a gap between object an image and reference Walter Benjamin’s examination of the employment of glass within shopping arcades. Aquarium rocks in particular arrangements, referenced from Japanese rock gardens, precariously prop up this sheet, demonstrating the delicate balance between objects and their images.