Monday, April 18, 2011

The last time I was at the bargain barn I found a trench coat by Michael Kors. No stains, the tan sort of ‘closet staple’ that every woman should own that they always talk about in magazines. When I bought it I was thinking about myself as one of those women—u know, with a little black dress and all the other ‘classic pieces’ that someone has in their Louis Vuitton luggage set when they travel for a long weekend. I was obsessed with this packing list that Joan Didion wrote in White Album—that idea that you only have a small set of carefully selected garments and objects that limits what you can do and wear on your vacation in a glamorous and effortless (looking) way. There is something about the curation of things that gives them value.

Anyway the Michael Kors Trench, I put it on and its just not me. Silver buttons and really, as much as I’d like to imagine, maybe I’m not a girl who wears little black dresses. I’m ok with my closet looking more like a polka dot and floral vomit center. I do love a wooden hanger.

Now I’m in the process of selling this coat on eBay and its sort of a conceptual project to make something I found in a shit heap seem like a closet staple for the girl-on-the-go. I like DIY advertising. How could this idea become more palpable as art? Trash-to-spectacle. When I worked for Anne Wilson she was setting up a lecture series ‘trash to spectacle’ (a phrase I know ive stolen and re appropriated as a mantra) and I helped brainstorm possible speakers, people like shinique smith and another guy who made really amazing African masks out of running shoes, I forget his name. I think Glenn Adamson spoke. I’m still fascinated with the idea of trash, the forgotten things, becoming important, valued. Its that old Japanese idea of a thing actually having more value when it is used. The cracks of wear being the point of value. My housemate saves every plastic yogurt container she uses, which is something that really bothers me. Its like there is a spectrum of value that hovers over everything, and the subjectivity of it all pricks us—VALUE is so crazy to me. Preciousness. Because that’s sort of what art is.

{photos: michael kors trench (now on ebay all you buyers!!, joan didion literary babe keepin chic, shinique smith mitumba deity (2005) c/o the brooklyn museum}

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