The patterns within this over stacked clothes display attracted me to capture it, then on the computer I concluded that some of the colors within should recede while others should explode. Something about the flatness of the fabric suggested everything should, instead, glow. Then I just pushed it towards the abstract until I felt it had gone as far as it should. As I mentioned in my last post, this is a work that might well be criticized as too busy, but the busyness is the point – the display was busy; the clothes all jammed together like a pile on the floor of a teenager’s room (this was The Gap, after all), and thus the art it generated comes off a little like a pile of light.
I recall attending a lecture while I was attending grad school – this would have been in the late 80’s – given by a social activist whose name escapes me (Daniel Ellsberg’s cellmate, as I recall, and a quick check of Google can’t identify him either) who began by asking the audience who among us had more than one pair of shoes. To those of us who raised our hands he said, “Then you people are criminals – there are people in the world with no shoes”, implying, of course, that no one should have two of anything until everyone had one. In retrospect, I question if he was simply using it to illustrate the inequities of human existence, but a part of me believes he really was trying to be literal. It’s a quixotic philosophy, of course, and in the end I remember reading that this individual had taken his own life as he found the modern world exploding farther and farther from his ideal. My temptation to poke fun is tempered by the knowledge of how much pain he must have been in. But ride that explosion a bit. If one has two of something, are they designer or discount store? If they’re both designer, which designer? If there’s two, why not three? Is there one for each season? Two for each season? Two formals and two casuals for each season? Two for the beach and two to wear while shopping for more? Does it ever end? Ideals that pursue the perfect miss the contentment in what is. But contentment also allows inequity to maintain a stranglehold. It takes anger to change anything. How much pain do you want to be in?
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.