ON BECOMING PLAYFUL
The installation, On Becoming Playful, reflects on cyclic processes and transformation, and is a lighthearted response to the spontaneous interaction between exhibition goers and the large-scale shredded junk mail installations that Hashimoto has built over the past seven years. Be it a mountainous landscape in Chicago, a tsunami (wave) in Los Angeles, or an entire room in a museum in Paris -- when invited, exhibition visitors eagerly played within these built environments with the exuberant abandonment reminiscent of childhood romps in leaf piles. Through this uplifting interaction, anger was transformed by gleeful physicality. Animus towards this unending stream of trash delivered to our mailboxes was channeled into a positive call to action through the artist’s collaboration with environmental activist groups.
Hashimoto collected over 3,000 cubic feet of junk mail that was delivered to her studio address during the first year of this environmental art project. She experienced the rapid growth of that mass during the initial year and, since then, the gradual decrease in its size as objects have been formed from and actions have depleted her collection of shreds. At this point in the project, the size of her collection is about equal to what it was when Junk Mail with Grand Piano was created three-months into the project. A photograph of that work is hanging across the gallery for reference.
From her current inventory of original shreds, Hashimoto presents us with a playful installation of balls seemingly erupting from a shredded mound in the corner of the gallery. The image of the ice breaking from the melting glaciers that she witnessed on a boat trip in Alaska was her visual inspiration for this piece.
On Becoming Playful, shredded junk mail, cotton and linens fibers, partial installation view (2013)
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exhibition photo: Kevin G. Malella