Last Dance Before the Landfill

Torrance Art Museum, 2015

STUDIO SYSTEM was an experimental exhibit in which artists were in residence for a month working at the Torrance Art Museum during museum hours, curated by Max Presneill. Participating artists: Sydney Croskery, Elizabeth Dorbad, Nancy Evans, Josh Hagler, Seth Kaufman, Hung Viet Nguyen, Don Porcella, Dickson Schneider, Mariángeles Soto-Díaz, Vincent Tomczyk and Valerie Wilcox.

My project during residency, Last Dance Before the Landfill, was an inquiry into our shifting relationship with stuff, material stuff. I was interested in exploring the interplay between objects’ symbolic and material insistence, the affects and desires that define their temporary allure, and the inevitable final gesture of discarding them.

Throughout the month of Studio System at the TAM, I checked the free and reduced listings on Craigslist, the curb alerts, the leftovers of Garage Sales, and created an installation that changed every day depending on what I found.

The objects selected for Last Dance Before the Landfill had functions ranging from the decorative to the leisurely. Sunday paintings, leftover paint, a hand grill, frames, flooring, and cheap modernist rugs, all things we associate with a thriving middle class. There is an insistent aura not so much in the objects themselves as in their promise. This installation became a meditation centered on the remains of stuff – our painting leftovers, our species’ object remains. Or maybe it was about extending the life of things like painting, or about making painting-like things. Or maybe it was just a last dance before the landfill. I won’t discard that.