Shit Talk at Material Arrangements
Shit Talk was my contribution to the Goethe Satellite exhibition Material Arrangement at the 221a Artist Run Centre in Vancouver.
Material Arrangements brought together two Vancouver artists, Andy Chung and Christy Nyiri, and two Berlin artists, Anette K Hansen and Easton West, to explore the role of graphic treatment in the conveyance of meaning. Drawing from the utilitarian nature of the visuals being examined, the title of the exhibition describes what the artists have been asked to do—arrange a collection of materials—and asserts that the arrangement of graphical forms is material to meaning-making in graphic design.
My response to the project description involved collecting over 500 photographs of hand lettering from various public bathrooms in Berlin. The lettering in the photos were used to design a pattern which was later applied to wallpaper and fabric to create an interior scene within the gallery.
Shit Talk combines my passions for upcycling, furniture and interior with my obsession for pattern creation. Through the process of collecting the bathroom writing I quickly started drawing parallels between the process of upcycling objects and materials to that of upcycling words and meaning. Removed from their original context, the privacy of a closed bathroom stall, and arranged into intricate Victorian inspired patterns the crude and often lewd hand lettering become delicate and almost dainty. The application of the patterns onto wallpaper and upholstered antique furniture further removes the scribbles from the gritty to the refined, altering the way they are viewed and giving them added value.
Role Exhibiting artist, design of pattern for wallpaper and fabric print using found graphic elements; graffiti from Berlin bathroom stalls, rearranged into ‘Baroque’ patterns
Presented by Goethe Institute
Curated by Jaz Halloran & Tracy Stefanucci
Hosted by 221A Artist Run Centre, Vancouver