Clarissa Tossin


June 29 — July 30 2011

How long do the objects of our daily consumption last? The time of production and subsequent decomposition of a tea bag is infinitely greater than the few minutes we spend to drink the cup of tea it stems from. For Spent, Clarissa Tossin materialized her consumption trail for two months, preserving all the domestic waste produced during this period. Each object in the room is a discarded item dipped in porcelain slip and subsequently fired in a kiln. Due to the high temperature, paper, cotton, rags, seeds, coffee cups and other materials turn to ashes, while the original form remains in as a hollow porcelain shell. The waste is transcended into a noble material at the polar opposite of its origin. What was previously an indistinct piece of waste becomes a distinct single object, with a specific aesthetic related to the neglected and ordinary.

Spent is an installation that provokes fascination through its situational quietness, a delicate and sterile membrane allows us to look closely at the artist’s intimacy without being offended or invading her privacy. Surrounded by this suddenly fragile waste, each visitor cannot help but think about his/her own contribution to the growth of what the artist calls the “ruins of consumer society” that we thrive to forget. If one of the pieces breaks, does it become trash again? What remains from the capitalist model if its constant is waste? The experience quickly disappears but the evidence remains. It undergoes a transition from its overwhelming and attractive first step – in boxes, shelves, shopping windows – to its individual use, to ultimately return to its collective origin as residue of private moments that are indiscriminately mixed into public oblivion. Clarissa fossilizes her consumption transit halfway and asks the question: how much remains of what we consume?

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