Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Artist Lecture - Paho Mann

I connected immediately with Paho Mann’s subject matter, which is human’s consumption and waste, and also the idea of consumerism versus individuality. We as individuals never really consider the things that we do to be harmful, wasteful, or otherwise detrimental to the environment because of the small scale of our perception. Paho works to prove us wrong in his work. He has cataloged items at a recycling plant, made a database image of individual snap shots of various colors of plastic bottles to make us think about how all of our individual consumption and waste adds to others’ and creates what we seen in landfills.

He also has projects cataloging the interiors of medicine cabinets and junk drawers. Initially, I thought the idea was curious and perhaps uninteresting, but he executed his ideas in a way that it felt sometimes more intimate that portraiture, because of the array of items that are hidden away in people’s bathrooms or drawers. The intimacy of being able to snoop through people’s things mixed voyeurism with a better understanding of our connections through the products we use / what society tells us that we need to consume. 

Though his work borders delightfully close to OCD, it is his meticulous attention to the tiniest aspects of our life, as well as the focus to shoot the multitude of images that he has without a sense of hurry or unimportance to them, that makes his work striking. You can tell that he spent a lot of time on the projects that he has done, and that he enjoyed their evolution, as well as that his work said to those who viewed it. Being able to see this subject matter in multiples allowed the viewer to see the “bigger picture” of our habits as humans, and our connectivity within. His work is one of the few presented within this class that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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