There are too many things in the cupboard
Aligned from the floor up, the images form a graph-like cityscape that tracks the traces of human interaction in our urban and rural environments.
The original idea was to plot the images using data harvested from a fashion magazine. I chose the March 2008 issue of Australian Harper’s Bazaar.
I began a page-by-page process of entering each item mentioned editorially into a spreadsheet. It revealed a total value of goods and services of about AU$6.2 million. No advertisements, POAs — Price On Application —, advertorials or estimates were included. The publisher’s downloadable rates sheet reported that the average reader had an average annual income of around AU$42,000.
Though the audience had no idea of the underlying data structure, I was interested in presenting the residue of consumption fuelled by aspirational mass-market magazines.
I was intrigued by what the cost of keeping up-to-date could be over a year and used the March issue as an average. Multiplying that by 12 gave me AU$75 million annually.
A tempting bombardment awaits on every page in every new issue. Sexy figures to obsess or lust over and the perfect potions, lotions and fashions to give you the impression that you may just be able to nab one of those unattainable distractions.
Add advertising, and you have an anxiety-inducing menu designed to enslave.
There are too many things in the cupboard brings into focus the detritus of consumerism, personal and collective memory, and homogenisation.
There are too many things in the cupboard, 2009
3,352 pigment prints, each 15 x 20 cm
4.5 x 26.25 metres (height x width)
ANU School of Art Gallery, Australian National University, March 2009
Close-up Picture of Society, Ron Cerabona, The Canberra Times, March 2009