Nancy Lupo, AAA, 2016 (detail).
Forks, (ECOSOURCE Plant Starch, Eco-gecko, Perfect Stix Green, Bambu, 120 Silver Visions Silver Serving Forks, Visions Clear Forks, Fineline Platter Pleasers, Comet Petites, Clear Sabert Serving, etc.), dental floss (RADIUS cranberry, Listerine Ultraclean, Dr. Fresh Waxed, Rite Aid Spearmint Waxed, Rite-Aid Mint Waxed, CVS Waxed and Unwaxed, Well at Walgreens, etc.), pine needles, orange and mint chocolate break apart balls (Ferrara Candy Orange Milk, Mint, Dark, Peppermint, Terry’s Chocolate Orange), 120 gumpaste carnations (extra large, large, medium, small), 4 emu eggs (half and whole), 5 rhea eggs, stress balls, fake lemons, lemons, Meyer lemons, oranges, a watermelon, a cantaloupe, a lime, a tomatillo, avocados, green and yellow Peanut M&M’s, rosemary, green twist ties, wasabi peas, Jordan almonds, 30 cabinet shelves, Magic-Sculpt, Fresh Step kitty litter, aluminum roof tar, aluminum ball chain, various lead sinkers, a corsage (sometimes), 36 Nylabone Dura Chew Textured Ring Dog Chews, 23 Nylabone Dura Chew Textured Ring Dog Chews (Holiday), 30 Nylabone Dura Chew Textured Ring Dog Chews cast in aluminum and some painted, 19 Nylabone Dura Chew Medium Textured Tugs cast in aluminum; Dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Kristina Kite Gallery, Los Angeles
Kling & Bang
Through subtle manipulation, repurposing, and juxtaposition, Nancy Lupo reveaals layers of meaning that underlie the seemingly familiar. Redundant interventions (such as recoating the exterior surface of a shelf with putty) and modifications in scale or use of objects (such as creating a “sofa” with chia seeds and kitty litter) contribute to a disquieting sensibility in her work. While her sculptural objects do, as Lupo notes, remain “haunted by the circumstances of their making,” they are also given new tasks and supporting roles. These may be enabled in part by the viewer’s own desires and perceptions and their efforts to comprehend the purpose of each object and the aesthetic and utilitarian choices that contributed to their making. When Lupo places objects into arrangements and narratives, she attempts to restructure the ways that we perceive these everyday items, and critiqes our definitions of value, utility, and productivity. In fetishizing foods, products for pets and children, and industrial and domestic furnishings, Lupo also reveals the latent consumerist desires expressed by their designs.
In AAA, Lupo focuses more specifically on the aesthetics of waste, excess production and consumption. The floor is littered with objects, the majority of which are meant to be consumed or used once and disposed of: Plastic forks are interwoven with dental floss, both in an array of brands so that their forms and colors slightly vary. Food items, fake and real—such as a chocolate “orange” and actual pieces of fruit—mime one another at regular intervals throughout her composition on the gallery floor. The installation appears to be an image of chaos, yet in fact, it was laboriously constructed in careful increments over the course of a year. The four sections of the installation, which are differentiated by the color and brand of her materials, stand in for the seasons in which she worked. Day by day, Lupo carried out the additive process of construction as her materials began a subtractive process of decay. The natural or local times of her organic materials and products, circumscribed by their limited shelf-lifes, are thus juxtaposed with the daily rhythms of her manipulations and preserved as an artwork for the duration of the exhibition in the apparently timeless space of the gallery in which her work is shown.