Houston, We have a Problem
curated by David Packer
This show, curated by David Packer, brings together seven artists who all use plastic in their work as subject, medium or both. Plastic bags, plastic bottles, resin cast cheese slices, even collaged industrial exit signs: they are all used by these artists to draw attention to the prevalence of plastic in our daily lives. He wants to establish plastic in an art conversation, for people to recognize our dependence when they enter the gallery. The micro plastic that has permeated our water supply is invisible but these artists are making plastic visible, bringing it to the fore. The title of the show refers to the idea that something needs to happen about our plastic consumption.
About the Artists:
Margaret Lanzetta’s work posits industrial and organic confluences, interspersed with Buddhist meditation. Large scale sheets of plastic Mylar, as translucent as skin, are stamped in mantra-like repetition with the imprints of plastic supermarket detritus, creating fields of patterns, deceptively delicate and organic.
Niki Lederer collects brightly colored plastic bottles and then cuts and re-assembles them into hanging sculptures. The pretty of this work deliberately masks the insidious nature of consumer societies, the greed of making money whatever the cost. This garbage should not even exist.
Shari Mendelson looks at antique work, copies them in plastic and then shows them on discarded refrigerator shelves. There is a transgressive tension in combining classical ideas with plastic: antiquity is so noble and plastic is so base.
David Packer has cast plastic water bottles in ceramic, a way of highlighting the fact that a traditional craft material has been replaced globally by plastic. He also uses plastic as a collage material.
The work of Emmaline Payette looks like rocks even though they are sculptures made from plastic bags, intercepted waste not now going to landfill. One of the large boulders, described by the artists as stoned plastic, can contain over 2,300 bags.
Mark Power casts the most mundane objects possible, such as cheese slices and takeout containers in white resin, completely changing the sense and the content of the original objects.
Bob Seng meticulously makes “carved” EXIT signs that are built up by cutting, scraping, and collaging elements of readymade EXIT signs. They look backwards to analog times of labor, craft, marquetry, quilts, and forward to a new virtual EXIT.