Last Tuesday, I I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see their "Punk" exhibit. One of the four aspects of the punk aesthetic expounded on in the exhibit was bricolage, the incorporation of "found" objects into art or material culture. Yesterday, I headed across town to the Hudson River Museum to check out the Fantasy River exhibit by Colombian artist Federico Uribe. Talk about a perfect example of bricolage! Here's a video in which the artist describes this exhibit:
While Uribe seems to disavow a larger political message, I found that his use of trash to create sculptures of plants and animals sent a message about consumption and its effects on the worldwide environment. The exhibit opened with a statement from Uribe and the museum staff. Uribe fashioned colorful birds from discarded shoes and a hippo from old computer keys. One of the most striking pieces was a sculpture of the head of a zebra fashioned from pencil stubs:
The sculpture of the zebra was incorporated into a wall mural of a zebra herd fashioned out of strips cut from bicycle tires:
In one of the trees sculpted from old books, I found a copy of the execrable Bobos in Paradise by the odious David Brooks. Finally, somebody found a use for this particular bit of crapola:
I hope my uproarious laughter didn't adversely affect the other museum visitors' viewing experience.
All told, the "Fantasy River" exhibit was a colorful, imaginative tour de force. Not only was it a bright fantasy landscape, but it forced the viewer to reconsider trash and consumption. We so often throw away unwanted goods in a cavalier fashion, with no thought of repurposing them. For another take on this aspect of the exhibit, the blog Everyday Trash has a nice piece, accompanied by a wonderful slideshow.
After taking in the exhibit, I headed north, over the border to Antoinette's, to get a cup of their mind-bogglingly good coffee, a sandwich and a brownie. It being a gorgeous day, I decided to eat my lunch in Lenoir Preserve, back over the Yonkers border, and to follow it up with a short stroll through the grounds. The Hudson peeked through the trees of the preserve at times, a real river even more beautiful and fantastic than the fantasy river in the museum.