The QSSR is a performance-based study along Queen Street in central Auckland, Aotearoa: New Zealand. The objects of the study are temporary sculptural assemblages of cardboard boxes outside the major retail outlets every evening in preparation for collection for recycling. The boxes, not normally intended for aesthetic consideration, are usually either broken down or stacked up by employees along the road side ready for collection. These highly visible yet usually ignored assemblages hold great value once revealed or acknowledged for their abstract spatial, aesthetic and symbolic meaning. This study employs the structure of a fictional sculpture competition to mimic the art world, where labour to produce object-based art is unacknowledged until it can produce material value through financialisation.
During the month of Feb 2018, I photographed every pile of boxes left out on Queen Street on every working day for a month. Photographing them at around the same time of day (between 5.30 and 6.30pm), from the same angle (crouching height so that I am at eye level with the boxes).
The next phase of this experiment is to invite the makers of these assemblages (local retail workers) to meet in a local community hall to view the images and to witness the unveiling of a prize winner. A selected jury of 4 people, consisting of a public art sculptor, a public art curator, a logistic manager, and a cardboard recycling contractor will view the entire month of sculptural images and select a number of prizes - best assemblage, best minimalist sculpture (single box), best series (location over a series of days), best reuse of a box, best layout for collection. The event will be held in a gallery with images of the assemblages displayed, welcoming food and drink and a short presentation of winners.
The QSSR will be compiled and completed in April 2018.
Queen Street in Auckland, New Zealand is the show-room for retail stores throughout the country. Diverse brands from Dior and Visace to McDonalds, Farmers and local souvenir outlets occupy roughly one kilometre of high foot-traffic shopping space. Queen Street is one of the most densely populated areas within the city.
Auckland is situated in the North Island of Aotearoa, New Zealand. With a national population of 4.4million, Auckland city is home to 1.7m.