12th - 26th June, 2012
@ Basement, Donkey Wheel House (adjacent to BUS Projects, 673 Bourke St)
Cancer is a new exhibition by Kristin McIver which explores our hyper-consumer culture. The site-specific installation, in a pop-up gallery space brings into question the increasing role brands play in our personal lives. The installation comprises 250 coke cans inscribed with “Dad”, resting on their backs on the floor in an exacting, post-minimalist grid.
Cancer highlights how corporations, in an attempt to reach increasingly fragmented markets, are devising new and innovative ways to spread their product to the consumer. Seduced individuals willingly associate themselves with brands, inviting them into their homes, onto their Facebook profiles, and proudly bearing them on their chests. Promotions such as Coke's recent Share a Coke campaign - which encouraged consumers to purchase coke cans inscribed with the name of a friend or loved one - were a blatant attempt to brand the individual, and become a part of important “life events”.
Cancer draws upon the highly personal and influential death from cancer of McIver's father at an early age. The artist describes the event as a defining life event, shaping the way she thinks, acts, behaves, loves, interacts, connects, laughs and cries, even into adult life. Encountering Coke cans inscribed with the word “Dad” induced feelings of sadness, loss, memory and longing. These feelings were followed by indignation - at having these emotions induced and exploited by a global brand. Finding and collecting the Dad/Coke cans became a cathartic process, each can bringing back another memory of her beloved, departed father.
Installed in a darkened, underground gallery space, the 250 “Dad/Coke” cans cover the entire floor of the gallery. Cancer's mass-produced-memento-mori suggests expansive rows of little red tombs - branded corpses. The accompanying soundtrack drawn from a shared personal event between the artist and her father further intertwines the personal with the serial production.
In this era of hyper-capitalism, we have become the product. Cancer questions the intentions behind corporations' personalised approach – exposing their promotions as veiled, invasive profiteering spreading to every aspect of our life. Cancer forces the viewer to question their own role in the symbiotic relationship between consumer and brand - is it amoral to unquestioningly allow brands to become so intertwined with our identity?
Opening Night: 6 - 8pm Tuesday 12th June
Exhibition Dates: 12th June - 26th June
Gallery Address: Basement, Donkey Wheel House (adjacent to BUS Projects), 673 Bourke Street
Gallery Hours: Tue-Sat 12pm - 6pm
Closing Night: Tuesday 26th June