“ I shop therefore I am”, declares Barbara Kruger ‘s bright red contemporary amendment to French philosopher René Descartes’ 16th century proposition “je pense, donc je suis” -I think therefore I am.
Humorous, provocative and pithy- but in my own experience also: true.
While studying and briefly working in advertising I became interested in how emotional manipulation is used to promote consumption.
As an investigation into my own habit of consumption I set myself a challenge to paint every item I found myself buying that could only be classified as a "want".
The action of painting the objects I accumulate during my 5 weeks on residence in Istanbul is an attempt to isolate headspace and time to contemplate and labour over my often-impulsive consumptive choices.
Acknowledging their impact on and support for specific socio-political and environmental system.
In this process questioning whether these "normative" cycles of accumulation stem from a more constructed outward agenda or inner desire and whether they allow space for a creative-centric desire to collect.
I am interested in the urge one feels to buy items like travel momento’s and gifts that are by-large kitsch, mass-produced and obvious but also emotionally loaded.
Through my own practice of buying I have found these become the believed physical manifestations of ephemeral experience. Momento's themselves functioning to bring the present experience (having perceived value), soon to be past, into the future as a vindication of the feeling.
I have also attempted to re-create this sense of " experience-ownership" by painting, sketching and journaling places I visit and people I meet as an alternative ownership of the present and its emotional richness.