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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Single Use Disposables: Convenience or Conundrum

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Jen LaMastra is the indisputable star (unless you care to dispute me) of Glean, a group show of art made solely with materials scavenged from the city dump, currently on view at Disjecta. She has a couturier's knack for looking at a material—be it pages of a dictionary, window blinds, or tires—and determining what would be the most painstaking possible way of using it. The result is wearable sculpture that defies predictability as often as it does the act of sitting (one of her submissions for Glean involves a bustle made, in part, of bed springs). If you don't get up to the old Paul Bunyan to often, though, there's another, downtown chance to see LaMastra's latest. "Single Use Disposables: Convenience or Conundrum" is now on view in the Galleria windows at SW 9th & Morrison, and on view through October.

I can't resist fantasizing about what LaMastra could do with traditional dressmaking materials, but she remains focused on raising awareness of the waste society generates, and this installation—fourth in a series—specifically deals in plastic bags, coffee cups, and plastic beverage bottles, materials specifically intended to be used once and thrown away. Here's a video of her fashioning coffee cops into an intricate bodice, but let it be a teaser for the finished installation and, better yet, a motive to make the trek out North to Glean, which features some of her most impressive work to date.

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