Friday, February 17, 2012

Rachel Perry Welty

Jason had to use up some vacation days before his ten year anniversary with his company, so he took this past week off.

We didn't have any real concrete plans.

We decided to make use of some of our museum memberships.

We were fortunate to see this amazing exhibition by Rachel Perry Welty.

We were also very fortunate to have a wonderful student docent give us a guided tour of the exhibit.

Welty began her career in advertising.

Her work was mind-blowing.

never have a I experienced art that reflected my life in such a way that it made me this emotional.

The premise of this collection is that we are bombarded by images and media and social media and we have no control over what influences us.

These are things I think about quite often.

It is very hard to tell what the photo on the brochure is made of...looks like a pretty floral design, right?
When you see this up close it is mind-blowing.

It is all made from food labels.

The juxtaposition of seeing things we see everyday in a different form is very powerful.
Creating designs with everyday objects is a powerful medium.

In addition to using food labels, Welty also used medical transcripts and medical bills to create beautiful art...taking something that people find stressful and turning it into something different, something colorful, something powerful.

Welty also used performance art to illustrate her point.
She spent a 24 hour period updating her facebook status every 60 seconds.
She never updated again.

She also did an amazing film performance of telemarketers that had left her messages on her answering machine, taking on their facial expressions and personalities--
it was really powerful to see how we are shaped by these mundane, everyday things,
how they influence our decisions and thought processes.

One of our favorite pieces was an enormous two-wall de-excising display.
Every day since 2005, Welty chose one item in her home to get rid of.
She photographed the item and wrote a note:

"love the color, but it's too short

"too faded

"I won't miss it

This spoke to how much excess we have in our lives.
I have been looking forward to participating in 40 Bags in 40 Days,
and this made me more aware of how accumulating "stuff" doesn't make us feel better - as marketing people may want us to believe - but rather the more we have, the more stressed we are.
It is liberating to get rid of "stuff".

My favorite piece was a HUGE blank wall
"what do you really want?"
written in foil
a blank slate
a clean canvas

what do you really want?