Waste Not, Want Not is a group exhibition themed around the
interpretations and responses to the motivations, goals, realities, politics,
and practices of recycling. Curated by Robyn Donohue with Alyson Baker and
Marichris Ty, the exhibition addresses the creative transformation of the
by-products of production and consumption.
By coincidence or not, many of the artworks poke fun at our
cultural fetishism of materials and objects. Lars Fisk's Trashbags is a
five-foot tall polished marble sculpture of – you guessed it – trash bags. Tony
Feher's Lipstick Showing is a
spray-painted PVC pipe duct-taped on an very tall existing utility pole. Julian
Montague's Three Stray Shopping Car Situations makes an abandoned, stolen or re-utilized shopping
cart something to be considered, accounted for, and possibly protected.
A few sculptures in Waste Not, Want Not will change over time, such as Rainy Lehrman's Labor
By Product, which reintroduces the wasted byproduct of New York's woodshops
into the environment in an undulating 32' long sculpture. Thin layers of
various wood chips are compressed into a mold, water is added and the top layer
is covered with sod. Leherman predicts that the grass will die quickly, and
tiny little creatures will soon make the sculpture their home. Another TBD work
is by Carole Frances Lung. Titled Walking & Weaving, it is currently a large
empty loom standing off the main walkway of the park. A plaque states that the
materials to be used are reclaimed lumber, concrete, an electrical conduit,
nylon rope, weights, donated textiles and garments from inhabitants of New York
City, and scavenged urban detritus from the garment district. Lung invites
people to bring their own used garments and textiles to the park from now
through June 1st, where a subsequent weaving performance will take
Whether celebrating the global trend toward "green"
or critically examining the motives and results of a world-wide focus on
sustainability, the works in the exhibition share a common practice of
re-purposing wasted or cast-off resources. Noble yet practical.
*Images from Top, Left to Right: Jade Townsend and Michael Peterson, Bottom of the Bag (2008); Tony Feher, Lipstick Showing (2008); Lars Fisk, Trashbags (2008); Carole Frances Lung, Walking and Weaving (2008). All images courtesy the artists and Socrates Sculpture Park.