Windows of Consumption is cause to pause and confront the effects of consumption in German society, while revealing individual identity as seen through the lens of garbage.Participants, asked to collect their trash over a two to three month period, were stunned by the the sheer volume of waste that accumulated. From this chaotic heap of growing refuse, a tapestry of plastic and paper remnants were arranged within the glass windows of their homes. The play of light through the varying colors and transparencies of shards of plastic, paper and other materials creates an experience reminiscent of sunlight filtered through the sacral stained-glass windows illuminating a house of worship.
The window is more than simply a common gateway between inside and outside, but rather maintains a balance between protection and vulnerability - sound piercing tranquility, light illuminating dark, external influences sculpting individual behaviors. The window’s reflection of the self over the backdrop of the world beyond is a metaphor of self-awareness, forcing us to confront how our individual choices have far-reaching impact. This theme of windows can be found in works by Carspar David Friedrich , Carl Holsoe, Matisse, Magritte, Christo and many more artists who throughout the centuries used the symbolism of a window in their paintings.
By using trash to obstruct the view, I am challenging the public to look beyond, and understand the “garbage” they produce from excess consumption is blocking their ability to live a more self-aware and spiritual existence. The triumph of what we want, over what we need, has led to the human tragedy of over-indulgence. While advertisements continue to fuel the frenzy of consumerism with promises of feeling more fulfilled, connected and happier, the reality is that we live in a society plagued by emotional emptiness, isolationism and depression. Similarly, Windows of Consumption is itself a contradiction. Unsightly waste becomes a thing of beauty, strewn about materials take on a cohesive form, and windows become as illuminating as they are obstructing.
What we consume and the trash produced as a result, proves a very personal display of one’s personal lifestyle. An individual’s tastes, indulgences, and choices are embodied in their window display, allowing the public to view that identity and formulate understandings of those unique lifestyles and social stature.
With this project I aim to create an awareness of the consumer packaging industry, which through deceptive marketing promotes the consumption of product without regard for the residual consequences.
I also wish to raise an awareness of the responsibility of each individual, to reflect on these consequences and feel accountable. By having participants collect their trash over this extended period of time and then share those experiences, they are forced to confront the magnitude of their impact. The hope is thatches project will lead both the participants and the audience to adopt more responsible and self-self-accountable consumer behaviors, and find creative solutions to a growing problem of our modern day society - trash.
Please contact me if you wish to participate.