FLAVOR PILL | august 2008

Barbara Hashimoto Junk Mail
Karsten Lund

Barbara Hashimoto, Installation view of Junk Mail (photo credit: Archie FlorCruz)

A landscape of mountain ridges is visible through the wide windows of this storefront space in the Chicago Arts District — or maybe it's a hay barn as envisioned by office workers. Actually, it's a heap of junk mail refashioned by Barbara Hashimoto, who spent a year collecting and hand-shredding the fliers and catalogs sent to BauerLatoza Studio, where she was artist-in-residence. That she accumulated 3,000 cubic feet of paper speaks volumes about the so-called "direct mail" industry, and her organic-feeling installation is both formally lovely and ecologically alarming. Though the piece can be seen from the street, the space is open to visitors on a few days each month; related events continue through the fall.