JUNK MAIL ASHES
In December 2012, Hashimoto participated in the closing exhibition, 24HRS/25DAYS, at New Capital Projects, Chicago. She created an installation utilizing almost half of the 3,000 cubic-feet of shredded junk mail which was amassed during the initial year of The Junk Mail Experiment. The shreds were burned in a manner reminiscent of the Dondoyaki Ritual Burnings the artist experienced during her seven-year tenure in Japan.
In Dondoyaki, participants burn unwanted objects in a large communal bonfire to mark the beginning of a New Year cycle. Usually held at local shrines, neighbors gather around the flames sharing warm drinks and food. During the evening burnings at New Capital Projects, Hashimoto prepared and served warm sake and roasted sato imo.
Junk Mail Burning was the action that began Hashimoto’s shift towards the culmination of her environmental art project. As the ashes from Dundoyaki are used to fertilize next year’s crops in Japan, Hashimoto will use the ashes from this fire to incorporate into future work. In this exhibition, a mound of ashes from the December burning is formed in a way that mirrors the Junk Mail with Grand Piano installation. A large format print of that installation mounted on aluminum was included in this exhibition.
Junk Mail with Grand Piano, installation, 9 x 16 x 12 feet (2007)
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photo credits: Junk Mail Ashes: Kevin G. Malella; Junk Mail with Grand Piano: Eric Young Smith