The use of everyday objects in art has been widely discussed heralding Duchamp’s first readymade as the instigator of this mode of production. What has yet to be the focus of investigation is the influence of consumerism and its effects since the 1950s, making explicit allusion to alternative ways of consuming and creating.
This exhibition works towards disrupting the normalised discourse on the use of everyday objects in art. Looking beyond the initial concerns of the readymade, existing objects are brought together, re-configured, and re-contextualised through the work of Samantha Donnelly, Mia Goyette, Hannah Regel and Russell Hill.
The original independent culture of DIY present since the 1950’s and its desire to produce, transform, and reconstruct was centred on individuals who would engage with preexisting materials in order to satisfy their own needs. Companies such as Ikea and B&Q have popularised the use of the term DIY (or, Do It Yourself) to describe the practice of buying a set of components to be assembled. This fixed corporate paradigm, which might suggest an absence or hijacking of creativity, can in fact be read as an attempted shift in the way we consume. This move towards a more active way of absorbing the overabundance of consumer goods around us has inevitably infiltrated the culture of art production.
The way we consume shapes the way we produce. In assembling new work from a variety of already produced materials, the artist - who is also an everyday consumer – configures new compositions that could be considered as visual collages of signifiers that define society. From this perspective, the artist is a challenger to the predetermined modes of day-to-day consumption, dislocating the trajectory of instruction manuals and prescriptive DIY guides.